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Green edges Mundine in disputed decision

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small1_Gloves_GV.jpg

By Anthony Cocks


Danny “The Green Machine” Green 36-5 (28) was the recipient of a highly controversial majority decision win over archrival Anthony “The Man” Mundine 47-8 (27) on Friday night at Adelaide Oval in North Adelaide, South Australia.

 

Green had to wait 11 long years to exact his revenge on Mundine, who easily boxed his way to a clear-cut 12 round victory over the Perth puncher in the most lucrative fight in Australian history at Sydney Football Stadium in front of 30,000 parochial fans in 2006.

 
Their bitter rivalry that extends back 17 years and has followed them since the beginning of their careers has frequently been marred by talk of racial issues, something dismissed by Green after the fight.
 
“I want to say… this has nothing to do with black or white, this is a fight, it is sport,” said 43 year-old Green.  “That has nothing to do with colour.  I won the fight against another man, that’s it.  And that just feels so good.  I’m an old man but I gave it my best.” 
 
A clearly shattered Mundine flagged his retirement on Fox Sport News Australia and spoke of his disappointment at the result.
 
“What do you do… when you give a performance like that?” asked the 41 year-old.  “I had him beat up, I had him bleeding, his eyes were puffy.
 
“I still won hands down… I don’t know, it just hurts.  To put on all that weight and perform the way I did, I produced an impossible task tonight.  They robbed me.  I know I won, he knows I won it, that’s what makes it so tough.  He [Green] knows in his heart that I was the man, again.”


The 10 round fight for Green’s domestic cruiserweight title was conducted at a catchweight of 183 pounds.  At 16x16 feet the small ring looked to benefit Green, who at 182.5lb came in 7.7lb heavier than Mundine at 174.8lb.
 
In front of a crowd of almost 28,000 fans, the fight was a battle between Green’s superior size and strength and Mundine’s speed and athleticism.  In what was widely expected to be the last fight of both boxers’ careers, Mundine used his speed and movement while Green brawled and mauled and roughed up Mundine in close.
 
In a rough and tumble opening stanza Mundine caught Green with a left hook in a clinch as referee Frank Garza called break, sending Green spinning across the ring clearly concussed.  Ringside physician Dr Lou Lewis looked like he wanted to stop the fight there and then, but Green insisted on continuing.  The infringement cost Mundine a point.
 
In his first fight since losing a wide decision to Charles Hatley at junior middleweight in November 2015, Mundine showed few signs of rust and moved fluidly around the ring after hip surgery last year to mend a longterm injury.
 
The first four rounds were close with not much separating them.  Green appeared fatigued as early as the third as Mundine kept peppering him with sharp, laser-like jabs.  In the fifth Mundine bloodied Green’s nose while Green banked on single right hands to stem the tide.
 
Mundine appeared in control by the middle rounds and in the seventh had one of his best rounds in the fight when he landed a pair of right hands to Green’s head that staggered him.  The same round saw a frustrated Green lash out with an elbow that saw him docked a point.
 
Going into the 8th Mundine looked fresh while Green was gasping for air.  Mundine backed Green up, outworking the naturally bigger man and making good use of the left hook.  In the 10th and final round Mundine went for the kill, desperate to make a statement.  Green valiantly pushed forward but was largely ineffective, his face is bloodied and marked up. 
 
Green dug deep in the last two rounds but Mundine went with him and outgunned him in most of the exchanges.
 
When the dust settled Australian judge Tom Ferrauto had it a draw at 94-94, American Steve Morrow had Green slightly ahead 96-94, while American Hubert Minn scored it an incomprehensibly wide 98-90, giving Mundine the 7th round only.

 
Green also paid tribute to his longtime rival, who was clearly disappointed by the result.
 
“I just want to pay a special tribute, I want everyone in here to raise their hands and clap,” Green said.  “I don’t care what you think, but for putting on a show for all you guys, for being one of the best athletes in the country, hands up for Anthony Mundine now please!”
 



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