Danny Green vs. Anthony Mundine: Why Mundine Must Win

10.03.06 - By Andrew Teece: Wednesday night April 19th 2006 (Aust EST) heralds undoubtedly the biggest all-Australian boxing match in our history. Certainly in terms of the purse on offer, but this bout is one that has polarised the Australian public for years. Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine 25-3 (20 KO’s) takes on Danny ‘Green Machine’ Green 21-2 (19). This fight is also one that can help raise the profile of the sweet science in our country, and the affect and influence of this can not be underestimated. It is a fight that will bring boxing to the forefront of the sporting public’s minds.

Anthony Mundine, in truth, is the star of the show. Australia wants to see if he is as good as he says he is, or if Danny Green can pull it off, and knock him out. Mundine is not well received by many here in Australia, his attitude is more like the loud, brash attitude of Floyd Mayweather Jnr. and the like, than the amicable and affable Danny Green.

We would categorise Mundine as a ‘tall poppy’, and in Australia, it is well known and widely agreed that tall poppies need to be cut down. To that extent, I do not totally agree - Mundine is unquestionably one of the best athletes to come out of Australia, though the fact that he proclaims this to all and sundry leaves him wide open to criticism. And this he receives. It seems to be the way he likes it, has been that way since his days as a rugby league player.

I think Mundine is ready to step up and reach his potential. His recent loss to Mikkel Kessler was the make or break of his career. Even though he lost, I think he removed the last shred of self-doubt and proved to himself that he can compete, and compete well, against the division’s top fighters.

Danny Green, on the other hand, is hard to dislike. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, and is the typical Aussie larrikin of the old school. And he gets down to business in the ring. I believe him to be one of the hardest punching super middles going around, and his skill level is on the improve since his change of coach, now Ismael Salas. Danny has been accused of being a one-dimensional fighter, but I think this may be a little harsh. Certainly he is not as polished as some, but Salas has been working with Green for some time, and the difference in skill level is starting to show.

So we have the quintessential boxer v slugger. Mundine’s skills are impressive, and improving every fight. He has fast hands, moves well, and is quick on his feet. And, as he showed in his fight against Kessler, is now more prepared to mix it up with his opposition than earlier in his career. I thought this was one of his big downfalls in previous bouts, and was holding him back from reaching his potential. Green, on the other hand, has the advantage in three areas: power, experience and heart. Not to detract from Mundine, but Green is the type of fighter that will be carried out of the ring on a stretcher. Fighting is his life, and has been for many years.

This fight has been talked about by Australians since Mundine started his days as a boxer. Everyone has an opinion about it, fight fans or not. Many say Green will win, but I think this is because boxing is not one of our major sports, and the casual fan may be swayed by emotion. I love boxing, like all of you, and though my heart wants Green to win, I just do not see how he can. His only chance is a knockout. This is possible too, with Mundine being a bit susceptible to head shots. On the other hand, Mundine will use his superior hand speed to keep Green at bay, and if he lasts to the 5th or 6th round, the fight will be Mundine’s. Some say that Green cooked himself down the stretch against Kiwi Sean Sullivan, and hasn’t been the same since. I just don’t think he will have the tools to beat Mundine.

To the point of my article: it is my belief that Mundine needs to win this bout for Australia to have another word champ. I don’t believe Danny Green possesses the skills to be a significant threat at the highest level. This, I believe, was highlighted in the Markus Beyer fights. I don’t see Mundine having any problems with Beyer (if Beyer is prepared to take on the fight, which is doubtful). And this is who I hope Mundine chases should he emerge victorious against Green. A rematch with Mikkel Kessler is a fight too soon. But one or two more fights, and preferably a belt, would equip Mundine well to climb that mountain.

Prediction: Mundine UD in a hard fought contest.

Disclaimer: Never discount a man who can wallop like Danny Green.

Article posted on 10.03.2006

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