Mundine vs. Green Review

27.05.06 - By Tony Nobbs: In the end it was an emphatic display. On March 17 at Aussie Stadium in Sydney, NSW, Anthony Choc Mundine scored a twelve round decision victory over Perth rival Danny Green. The win in front of 30 odd thousand fans and almost an entire country watching on PPV proved that Mundine is what has always said. The Man. At least among Australian super middleweights.

Sitting ringside Mundine's over all performance was near perfect. Watching the tape over the weekend, it was even better. On the night I gave Green - former WBC “Interim” champion -rounds 1, 3 and 4. Mundine - one time WBA title holder - the rest for a 117-111 card. Looking at the tape, it was a shutout after the first. 119-109. The identical score as Kostya Tszyu who commentated along with former IBF 130 lb champion Barry Michael. The ringside officials Derek Milham (Australia)118-112, Pinit Prayadsab (Thailand) 118-111 and Michael Lee (Korea) 116-113. Referee was Terry O'Connor of England who did a stern job and after an early talking too kept both fighters honest and allowed a controversy free contest. At the end they showed the class and sportsmanship their supporters should be proud off.

Mundine(166.50 lb / record: 26-3, 20 KO's) must now be rated in the top three of the 168 lb division – behind only Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler. The Green fight was a WBA eliminator and the Sydney supremo is now the Dane's mandatory. Mundine figures to have a better show than he did when he last challenged Kessler in June of last year at the Sydney Entertainment Center. A fight he lost by margins of 4, 4 and an out of whack 12 points officially. While this writer had always felt Anthony would be too much for Green ever since this show down was mentioned five years back, his dominance from the fifth round gave us a look at a world class fighter with freakish ability and miles of improvement still to be made. He has obviously benefited from the input of Roy Jones Snr who has been assisting his father Tony Snr in training camp. They worked together in the Kessler fight but fell short – with a lack of offense the main down fall. This time they could hardly have wished for more.

Fighting out of Redfern, Sydney, after weeks of preparation at Baryugil, his fathers hometown in the North of NSW, he put it all together against Green. Mixing a tight defense with a well equipped arsenal. Not only was he too fast – he was too good. The way he dictated where the fight was going to be fought, at what pace, the uppercut followed by the long right hand. The lead rights. The jab. The hooks to the head and body. The evasion. Side on shoulder chin tuck. The feints. The way he tied Danny up and walked him around. The way he stayed in the pocket, smothering and countering, wasting little – firing two fisted salvos when his man covered. It's been a long time since an exhibition of boxing has been displayed in this country as eye catching as what Mundine turned on.

The 33 year old Green (167.25 lb / record: 21-3, 19 KO's) has in the opinion of many never been the same fighter since he suffered dehydration in the Perth heat when he out pointed tough New Zealand veteran Sean Sullivan in March 2004. He subsequently got dropped by Argentine Omar Gonzales before scoring a five round cut eye TKO in September '04 and lost the rematch with Markus Beyer for the WBC title in March '05. He then left the Jeff Fenech stable and linked with proven Cuban coach Ismael Salas. In his tune up fights with James Crawford and Kirino Garcia, he looked a lot more composed and while he lacked the aggression he was renowned for he did look a lot more fresher. And thinking more. But after four rounds against Mundine, which his pressure and body attack made the early going close, he looked to run out of ideas. He was momentarily stunned by a right in the fifth and it was pretty much one way traffic from then. Many have suggested he fought the wrong fight. He did not appear to have a Plan B. But on this night, no matter what he tried he would have been shut down. There is one thing the WA warrior has and always will carry and that is a heart as big as the Nullarbor Plain. And that may have been what saw him stay the route. He got caught with some flush rights from a guy who whether people want to acknowledge or not possesses big time one punch power.

What's next for Mundine? Obviously a Kessler return, hopefully by the end of the year – depending on how Mikkel's left elbow heals after surgery. Triple A Sam Soliman says he'd agree to fight a rematch with Mundine providing the money was right. Soliman is also reportedly close to a bout with Calzaghe and would take a fight with the Taylor – Wright winer at the drop off a hat. Shannan Taylor threw his name in, providing Choc gets down to 160, so there are a couple of local fights that are possibilities. Sakio Bika's trainer Angelo Hyder is crying foul after Markus Beyer retained his belt on May 13 in Germany. But Angelo has fights lined up in the US for the Cameroon Olympian based in Sydney. Who knows. There may even be room for a Green rematch. But that should best be left until he challenges Kessler and Danny gets back with a couple of wins, providing he fights again. Danny told Perth journo's that his future is undecided.

This was Mundine's best win, compared only to his WBA title win against Antwun Echols in 2003 and his deserved but razor thin split decision over Sam Soliman way back in 2001 in only his ninth pro fight (after 4 as an amateur when he was 17). That's the same Sam who gave Winky Wright all he could handle on December 10.

Having watched Mundine box an exhibition with nationally rated Justice Ganiza in January of 1997 while he was playing in the Super League with the competition winning Brisbane Bronco's it was obvious he would become a champion if he ever took the sport on professionally. He's exceeded expectations. After just six years in boxing and turning 31 four days after the fight, he has the world at his feet. He could very well become one of this countries boxing all time greats - and a feature in the P4P listings world wide.

Article posted on 28.05.2006

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