Mulivai to shock Australia with national crown
WHEN the QT caught up with Dane Mulivai yesterday, he looked gaunt and exhausted and was feeling the cold.
It was a stark contrast from the unshakeable figure of strength the former Commonwealth Games boxer portrays in the boxing ring.
But that's the price you pay for having to make weight for an Australian title fight.
Mulivai was not concerned by how weak he felt yesterday, knowing that by tonight he would be 100 percent ready to relieve Jake Carr of his super-middleweight title in Melbourne.
"It's probably the best feeling I've had before weigh-in," Mulivai said before flying out yesterday.
One can only wonder how he must have felt before some of his past fights.
But it is nothing a big feed of KFC after weigh-in won't cure, with Mulivai expecting to put on about 8kg after making the 76kg limit.
Mulivai earned the shot at the title by beating Joel Casey for the Pan Pacific title in April.
He hadn't boxed for 16 months before that, instead focusing on mixed martial arts.
It means few people outside his own camp give him a chance of winning tonight.
But that does not deter the Redbank Plains fighter.
"Everyone thinks I'm not going to win," he said.
"That I'm no chance.
"In the fight game, everyone's got a chance.
"Ali shocked the world; I'm going to shock Australia."
Mulivai has won his four professional boxing bouts by knockout.
But he has never fought anyone of Carr's stature before.
"People think he'll win because of the experience he's had," Mulivai said.
"He's been sparring with the Daniel Geale camp.
"But that doesn't bother me at all.
"I've got a little game plan.
"But I'm a freestyle fighter who adapts to what is happening.
"You can't plan if you get punched and rocked.
"But I'm experienced enough now.
"If I hurt him, I know I can finish it.
"I'm still knocking blokes out, left and right 'All Dae'."
Mulivai's return to the square ring does not mean he has abandoned his MMA ambitions.
He has been around too long and been disappointed in the past when the boxing fights dried up to put all his hopes into what might happen tonight.
"It means my kids get to play with another belt," the Combat 8 welterweight world champion said.
"If there was a million dollars on the line, it would be different.
"But even if I perform well and still lose, it will be good for me."
From the start of his preparation for tonight's title fight, Dane Mulivai has had to drop from 84.3 to 76.2kg.
That means sacrificing one of his great loves - bread.
"I eat heaps of salad - spinach leaves, heaps of chicken. No red meat, although I have a steak once a week, but not much," he said.
"But I miss bread.
"I smelt toast the other day and it drove me mad."