With America still reeling from the vicious attacks of September 11th, 2001, Anthony Mundine, then a promising young fighter, publicly defended the actions of the terrorists.
In an interview in October 2001, Mundine, an Australian Aborigine, said, "They call it an act of terrorism, but if you can understand religion, and our way of life, it's not about terrorism. It's about fighting for God's law, and America's brought it upon themselves."
But earlier this week, a seemingly remorseful Mundine recanted by stating, "I just wanted to clarify something that happened a decade or so ago about my comments on America, which wasn't directed at the American people."
"Firstly, I would like to say I'm sorry for all the heartache I caused to the loved ones of those lost on September 11.
"No good ever comes out of war - only misery."
"It exposes innocent lives to danger unnecessarily.
Heckled while training in a Las Vegas gym this week, Mundide added, "I'm also sorry that what I said was manipulated out of context by the media and journos doing their best to tarnish my image, trying to portray me as a bad human being, rather than associate the Mundine name with peace, charity, community and love."
Anthony Mundine, considered by some Australia's most divisive athlete, is no stranger to controversy. In 2007, he publicly criticized fellow Aborigine and Olympic Gold Medal-winning sprinter Cathy Freeman for what he believed was her heavy involvement in corporate Australia. (Source: Daily Telegraph)
Referring to Freeman as "sellout'', Mundine stated she could not be a legitimate Aboriginal leader or representative as long as she was heavily involved with corporate business ventures in Australia.
The outspoken and controversial Mundine added, "I think Cathy has done a lot for the Aboriginal people, don't get me wrong. But they (mainstream sponsors) control and determine the things she says. I'm not putting anything on her, but at the end of the day, it's got to be a man. She's a leader, but for women."
Anthony Mundine, fighting for the first time in the U.S., meets former WBO light middleweight champion Bronco McKart (54-9-1, 32 KO), an American, in Las Vegas tomorrow night.
The Australian, who recently insisited he's the only man who can defeat Floyd Mayweather, won the WBA Super Middleweight title in 2007 by defeating Sam Soliman and is currently ranked No. 11 in the jr middleweight division by BoxRec.
Mundine has also defeated Australian boxing legend Danny Green, current IBF Middleweight Champion Daniel Geale and former top super middleweight contender Antwun Echols. He's dropped decisions to Manny Siaca and Mikkel Kessler and was knocked out by Sven Ottke and Garth Wood.