LIKE something from the imagination of a movie scriptwriter, Chad ‘‘Hollywood’’ Bennett has challenged Anthony ‘‘The Man’’ Mundine to fight him in Newcastle later this year.
And Mundine is considering it.
Bennett is preparing for his three-belt title bout against former two-time Commonwealth champion James Armah at Newcastle Panthers on June 1.
Mundine announced last week his first fight in the United States against former World Boxing Organisation (WBO) light-middleweight champion Bronco McKart in Las Vegas on July 14.
Bennett hopes a victory over Armah will lead to a WBO junior welterweight world title fight with Cesar Cuenca in Newcastle.
Mundine is eyeing off McKart as a stepping stone towards his ultimate goal of a shot at Floyd Mayweather jnr, and speculation about a rematch with Danny Green refuses to go away.
But if the planets align, and their schedules are compatible, Bennett said the chance to fight Mundine in his own backyard would pack Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
‘‘It’s a promoter’s dream. It’s like Apollo Creed giving Rocky Balboa a shot – the champ giving a fighter largely unknown outside his home town a chance to really make a name for himself – and that’s all I’m asking of Choc [Mundine],’’ Bennett said.
Bennett and his matchmaker, Patrick Kennedy, have discussed the proposal with Mundine’s manager, Khoder Nasser, and were encouraged by Nasser’s response.
‘‘He made an offer and we gave him an indication that if there’s a moment during the year, it would be an option we would consider,’’ Nasser told the Newcastle Herald yesterday.
‘‘It’s an option we’re considering, definitely.’’
Bennett said Mundine could see sense in taking up his challenge, suggesting it would help the former rugby league star and fellow showman ‘‘tune up’’ for Green or Mayweather.
‘‘It’s probably a novelty fight for him between McKart and whatever else he’s got in the pipeline in the States, but for me it’s an opportunity,’’ Bennett said.
‘‘He gets a hundred offers a day but it makes sense for him to take this fight because he’s fought in Newcastle before, and it would be a good pay-day for him because we’d get 6000 into Newcastle Entertainment Centre and pack the joint out.
‘‘I’d have to come up two weight divisions to fight at junior middleweight and he’s struggled to make that weight before, but that’s where he has to fight because his dream fight is Mayweather.’’
Bennett said he had nothing but respect and admiration for Mundine but, if given the chance, would do everything in his power to ‘‘knock his head off’’.
‘‘I’m a big fan of Choc, don’t get me wrong. He’s had a massive impact on Australian boxing and basically dragged our sport out of the morgue,’’ he said.
‘‘Choc launched Danny Green’s career, let’s face it, because without Choc, Danny Green would still be fighting in pubs and clubs.
‘‘It would be an honour to fight Anthony Mundine and even though he’s taller and bigger, I’d put up a hell of a fight. I wouldn’t be going in there just to survive, I’d be doing my best to give him the hardest fight he’s ever had.
‘‘With my hand speed, I’d probably be the fastest guy he’s ever fought, and I’m confident I could land shots on him. If I happened to pull off an upset and beat Anthony Mundine, I’d never have to buy another beer in Newcastle for the rest of my life.’’
Bennett said he was not distracted by his challenge to Mundine, and was still focused on his fight with Armah for the WBO Oriental, WBO Asia Pacific and International Boxing Federation (IBF) Australasian junior welterweight belts at Newcastle Panthers next Friday week.