ANTHONY Mundine and his manager Khoder Nasser made an unsuccessful 11th hour bid to take over the promotion of Wednesday night's bout with Shane Mosley but will continue negotiations to reschedule the fight.
Mundine, who has promoted all but four of his 49 fights with Nasser, was "devastated" when he learnt Mosley was withdrawing from the bout due to a contractual dispute with promoter Vlad Warton and offered to pay the seven times world champion an outstanding $700,000 to get in the ring.
The rival camps first made contact late Monday night and talks continued on Tuesday morning while Mosley was at Sydney International Airport preparing to board an 11am flight home to Los Angeles.
"I had no idea until 9pm last night, and we guaranteed them the money," Mundine told Fairfax Media. "Boxa Promotions would have taken over the fight but obviously him and his team was fed up with the promoter...it is heart-wrenching.
"We tried to save it, we spoke to his camp at the airport and my team were saying we will guarantee you the money in whatever form you want. We were on the phone and I had a couple of boys go out to the airport but they couldn't get through customs. I had his [Mosley's] personal number but his wife got on the phone and she said 'we're not happy with the promoter, we are going'.
"This is probably the worst thing that has happened to me in my career. I am gutted, I still can't believe this happened."
While Mosley received $300,000 before coming to Australia three weeks ago, Mundine is out of pocket as he did not have any guarantees written into the individual $1 million contracts each boxer signed with Warton.
Despite the setback, Mundine said he still hoped to fight Mosley and was planning to fly to Los Angeles to negotiate a new deal with him.
"I want to chase him," Mundine said. "I want to get on a flight, sit down with his team and try to save the deal. They can have the money up front or whatever they want.
"Maybe we could delay it for three or four weeks if we have to but I want to give the fans the fights they want to see and I also want the fights that are going to catapult me to the next level."
After handing over the promotion of his last two fights to Warton, who was Kostya Tszyu's former manager, Mundine said he now intended to promote the bout with Mosley if he can persuade the 42-year-old to return to Sydney.
"I had nothing to do with the promotion, he [Warton] is the one who put this together and I was just a fighter in this scenario," Mundine said.
"I don't want this to tarnish my reputation because I have promoted 45 of my fights and everyone has always been paid.
"People advised me to be careful but I had guarantees from the TV [deal] and the TV [money] would have even guaranteed Mosley $500,000 to $700,000 in a contract form but they said it wasn't good enough. They wanted to see the cash.
"I was ready to guarantee the money, whatever method they wanted - cash, in an escrow account or whatever - but obviously it was too late."