Compact opponent gives Mulivai lesson for future
HE DIDN'T win, but Dane Mulivai didn't feel like a loser following his Australian super-middleweight title fight on Wednesday.
Redbank Plains resident Mulivai lost to undefeated champion Jake Carr in a unanimous points decision over 10 rounds.
It was the first loss of Mulivai's professional boxing career, but it has convinced him his future lies in the boxing ring, rather than the Mixed Martial Arts cage, for now a least.
Mulivai took his time looking for an opening to land a knock-out blow against Carr but it never came.
The defending champion showed why he is undefeated in 10 professional bouts.
He knew what Mulivai was after and gave him nothing to hit.
Carr remained compact throughout, rarely opening up to provide a target for Mulivai's bombs, while constantly ducking and weaving, frustrating the Ipswich fighter.
"It was like trying to hold a rabbit down," Mulivai said.
"I didn't get the result I wanted.
"But going 10 rounds was an accomplishment in itself because it was my first time.
"It was done at a good pace as well.
"I was more frustrated by his movement.
"I wasn't hurt from his punches or work-rate at any time."
The fact it was against a fighter considered a potential world contender added to the merit of Mulivai's performance.
Mulivai believes he rocked Carr more than once and is dirty on himself for not following through at the time.
It was enough to convince Mulivai that his short-term future lays in focussing solely on boxing, leaving MMA behind for now.
Mulivai fought four times as a professional, winning all by knock-out, but found decent fights hard to come by.
It seems no-one wanted to step into the ring against him, forcing him to turn to MMA.
Carr has had a similar experience, with Mulivai the only one still game to take him on.
It means a rematch is on the cards when Carr faces his mandatory title defence in three months.
If it happens, Mulivai warns Carr will be up against a different fighter.
"I've received overwhelming messages from highly regarded trainers staying that if I focus on my boxing it'd be a different rematch," he said.
"My next four, five or six fights will be in boxing.
"We're in talks already.
"I'm going to really listen to the experts and take the advice they're giving me."