Brutal punch lands Mummy in more hot water
Shane Mumford is sensationally facing a second ban before his comeback season even begins but his strike in a trial match is unlikely to stop GWS allowing him to continue to train as a boxer.
Mumford could be in hot water with the AFL match review officer for lashing out at the head of Swans midfielder George Hewett off the ball, as the 32-year-old wasted no time reaffirming his reputation as a feared intimidator.
Already suspended from the first two AFL rounds following the emergence of an old video showing the ruckman snorting a line of white powder, Mumford's return after his injury-forced retirement 18 months ago could be further delayed after footage circulated of Friday's brain snap in the match won 76-52 by Sydney at Blacktown.
Although he didn't refer to the incident with Hewett, Mumford admitted post-match that he will have to show a lot more caution than he used to with the way he throws himself into contests given the AFL's crackdown on contact with the head.
However, that won't mean a pause to his boxing training, which he believes has rebuilt him into a stronger and more fluent player.
After hanging up the boots at the end of the 2017 season, Mumford turned his athletic focus to boxing and has had two professional fights for two wins by knockout and is still chasing a heavyweight fight at the end of this season, potentially with NRL star Paul Gallen.
Shane Mumford whacked George Hewett high and off the ball in the Swans-Giants practice match. pic.twitter.com/lVy6oYxeni— 7AFL (@7AFL) 22 February 2019
Mumford appeared to strike Hewett with his forearm in Friday's incident and it's not completely clear whether his fist was clenched at the moment of impact as he attempted to untangle himself from the Swan, who had him in a hold.
The fact Hewett bounced straight back to his feet could work in Mumford's favour but if he is banned, he cannot serve his suspension in the pre-season, and will have to start any ban after his club-imposed sanction.
During the pre-season he has been regularly sparring two days a week.
"I think (boxing) has helped with my footwork and things like that. Moving around at stoppages, obviously being able to step and I'm a little bit stronger through my core than previous. Biomechanically I'm moving better," said Mumford.
"I'm still training boxing. I do that twice a week, but once games start I think I'll probably have to pull up a little bit on it and won't be able to do as much sparring as I have been.
"I'll aim to get another one (fight) in at the end of the season at some point, it's something I'm quite passionate about. I enjoy doing now and I won't be giving it up just yet.
"I think that's the aim (to fight an NRL player). I'll try and take someone down."
Coach Leon Cameron wasn't asked about the incident post-match, but the Giants appear likely to give Mumford their blessing to pursue a third bout at the end of the season and combine boxing and football training through the year.
"We'll assess as we go along but clearly the training he's doing is helping him so we will be encouraging that," Giants coach Leon Cameron told The Daily Telegraph.
"I don't want to hold a person back when someone is passionate about another sport as well. If it fits in with everything then no doubt.
"Shane is really smart about it all. He knows his priority is footy.
"I'd definitely have to agree (boxing has helped his football). That's what caught our eye two thirds of the way through the year last year, he was moving really well.
"Clearly his boxing training, his ability to run, his covering the ground has been no issue. His second efforts, third efforts have been no issue. But it looks like he's added value to that with the boxing training.
"He continues to do it. A, it's of interest for him as another career, but also, b, that sort of training with where he's at in his AFL career probably suits."
The Giants are yet to decide whether or not to play Mumford in the JLT Series given he won't start the season proper.