Anthony Mundine-World Champion

Australia's Anthony Mundine beat Antwun Echols of the United States to win the World Boxing Association's vacant super-middleweight title.

Mundine won a unanimous points decision after the 12-round bout went the distance. Judges Pinit Prayadsab of Thailand and Michael Lee of South Korea scored the fight 117-112 and Finland's Eraki Meronnen 115-114.

A former professional rugby league player, Mundine improved his career record to 19-1. He lost his previous shot at a world title to Germany's Sven Ottke in 2001.

Echols, beaten by Bernard Hopkins in his two previous title fights, slipped to 29-5-1.

"I am humbled in my achievements tonight," said Mundine, whose father and trainer Tony lost a middleweight world title bout to Argentinian Carlos Monzon in the mid-1970s.

"Maybe you didn't understand me and thought I was a bit cocky when I was playing football and came to boxing.

"Everyone said I couldn't do it, everyone said it was a dream."