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17 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Paul Upham

Green back to his best with 2nd round stoppage win over Murdoch

By Paul Upham in Melbourne: Danny Green turned on his best performance in three years with an explosive 2nd round technical knockout win over fellow Australian Paul Murdoch on Sunday night at the Netball & Hockey Centre in Melbourne. Having his second consecutive fight at light heavyweight, 33 year-old Green displayed speed and power that had not been seen from him since his WBC super middleweight title fight win over Eric Lucas in December 2003.

"Thankyou to Paul Murdoch for putting up a good fight," said Green in the ring, immediately after the win. "I caught him clean. I was very happy. I have been punching very hard all through the last six weeks of preparation and I am glad to get such a solid victory. I am just so happy. I have trained very hard. Melbourne, thankyou very much this is the best time I have had in Melbourne."

Green started fast in round 1 and was prepared to throw his combinations early. Murdoch, who had challenged unsuccessfully for the WBO world title last year, was happy to trade and the two stood together close in centre ring with little side to side movement. After some fast exchanges, Murdoch crashed backwards down to the canvas, stunned in his tracks by a blistering Green left jab and then pushed over with a follow-up left.

33 year-old Murdoch regained his feet quickly and beat the referee's count, but was lucky to survive the round as Green tore into him again, landing a strong right hand. While Murdoch gamely walked out for round 2 and tried to get back to his game plan with his left jab and right hands, a serries of right hands to the temple and a left hook saw Murdoch crash down to the canvas again. Bravely regaining his feet, his legs were wobbly and his father/trainer Bob Murdoch in the corner made it clear to referee Malcolm Bulner that he wanted the contest stopped at the 1:05 minute mark. Murdoch 26-7-1 (16) protested loudly, yelling at his father, but it appeared to be a good decision as he was unlikely to have lasted the round against a Green in this sort of form without sustaining further physical damage.

"I think it was a good job on his father's behalf," Green would comment later. "He was only going to get hurt. He doesn't need unnecessary punishment."

With both boxers rated by the WBA (Green No.11, Murdoch No.13) and Green No.9 in the IBF, it was an important win for the "Green Machine". While he has plans for a world title fight at 175lbs this year, a rematch with arch-rival Anthony Mundine, who defeated him on points last May in Sydney, is also on his mind.

"I can start thinking about that now," he said. "I was very focused as you saw all through the lead-up. We trained very hard. That's the fight I guess. I want to have redemption. I was beaten fair and square on the night and I want to try and prove that wasn't the best I have to offer. We also have a world title fight in the pipeline and if Mundine wants to come up to my weight division, no problem at all. Let's do it again."

It is clear now that Green had been competing at super middleweight for two years longer than he should have. Only his brutal determination to starve and punish himself in training camp allowed him to squeeze his six foot one inch frame into 168lbs. The result was a Green who was not the same fighter who had won the first 17 of 18 fights by knockout and who destroyed Canadian Eric Lucas to win part of the WBC super middleweight title. His performances at super middleweight in his rematch with Markus Beyer in March 2005 and his local superfight with Anthony "The Man" Mundine were that of a weakened boxer struggling to make weight.

"It does," agreed Green. "The extra seven pounds definitely makes a difference. I have been chopping up guys in sparring and it showed tonight."

Cuban trainer Ismael Salas believes that Green can win a world title at 175lbs.

"For me, for the best of his health, he needs to be at light heavyweight," said Salas. "He doesn't have to waste so much energy to make light heavyweight. At this weight he can become world champion. Danny is a guy who likes to work and work and work. He makes my job easier. I only have to pull him back from doing so much."

It was a jubilant Green in his dressing room with his team, family and friends. After the losses to Beyer and Mundine, many critics had written him off and suggested he retire. He took special satisfaction from this win.

"I'm stoked. I'm very happy," he said. "I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me, but it's two fights and two wins for me. I didn't get hit in either fight. People were saying that I was past my prime and I was thinking 'no, no'. The way I have been training and the way I have been moving and getting back to the way I used to be, I am very happy.

"Paul Murdoch has never been put away in two around and Zsolt Erdei took ten rounds. The punches that I trained to do were exactly the punches that I used tonight. When that happens, it doesn't happen often. Actually, I peaked yesterday. It was a near perfect preparation. I have been sparring really well. I was so confident going into the fight. Not over confident, but I knew that I had the tools and I knew that I had done the hard work."

Green 23-3 (21) will now await the outcome of the February 24 fight between WBA world champion Silvio Branco and his mandatory challenger Stipe Drews. If Branco wins, Green is hopeful that the 40 year-old will accept a lucrative offer to make an optional defence in Australia. Promoted by the powerful Universum group, if Drews were to win, it is less likely that he would face Green in Australia and the "Green Machine" would have to seek a world title fight elsewhere. There is the possibility of a shot at IBF world champion Clinton Woods, but Green would probably have to wait his turn, as it is likely that fellow Australian Paul Briggs may get a shot at the Englishman first this year with the backing of American broadcaster HBO.

If a rematch with Mundine is to be negotiated, Green will also have to wait for the outcome of the "The Man's" rematch with Sam Soliman on March 7 in Sydney with the vacant WBA super middleweight world title on the line.

"We will see what happens with the WBA and the IBF," said Green. "I'm going to go and spend a week surfing with my daughter. I'm going to go and get some tubes."

Other results on the card.

Daniel Lovett W6 Justin Clements at cruiserweight
Parkpoom Jangphonak W6 Chad Bennett at junior middleweight
Matthew Paulley D6 Brad Milner at junior welterweight
Ben Burrage TKO3 Adam Wills at junior welterweight
Tyrone Tongia W6 Robert Toomey at junior middleweight
Anthony McCracken W4 Jason Tramsek at cruiserweight

Buzz from Ringside: Don't be fooled by Sam Soliman's constant smile. He is taking his rematch with Anthony Mundine very seriously. The "King" turned down a live television interview during the Green-Murdoch card and left the venue before the main event, saying he had to get up early for his morning training run...Trainer Angelo Hyder was in serious discussions with Victorian boxing officials at the end of the night regarding the outcome of the Ben Burrage-Adam Wills fight. Wills was not allowed to continue in round 3 because of an ugly gash on his right eye, which closed completely. Wills was a long way ahead in the fight on the cards and close to stopping Burrage when the referee ruled that Wills simply couldn't see anymore. Video replays showed the swelling was caused by an accidental head clash and not from a punch and the result should have gone to the cards... 25 year-old Wills who is now based in Perth, is quickly earning himself a reputation as one of the most exciting boxers in Australia. His rematch with Charlie Vella on May 26 last year was arguably the local 'fight of the year'...There were some raised eyebrows at ringside at some of the scoring during the undercard. Judges scored the Matthew Paulley-Brad Milner bout 57-57, 57-57 and 59-55 Milner, even though Paulley appeared to box his way to a comfortable decision. Giving five rounds to one for Milner was simply incorrect. Judges scored the Jangphonak-Bennett bout 59-56, 57-57 and 60-54. Officials later discovered that the 57-57 score was actually 58-56 for Jangphonak. The Tongia-Toomey bout was scored 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 for Tongia, but the fight appeared to be much closer...Fox Sports are increasing their commitment to live Friday night boxing to at least eighteen shows in 2007. The majority of the shows will still be in the second half of the calendar year due to heavy rugby league and cricket commitments...Doctors suspected that Chad "Hollywood" Bennett sustained two broken bones in his right hand in the second round of his fight with Thailand's Parkpoom Jangphonak. The 33 year-old will be back and is hoping to secure a rematch with the impressive Thai later in the year...St Kilda AFL Star Fraser Gehrig visited Green in his dressing room after the fight. It is true that Green attended training with the St Kilda team last week wearing his beloved West Coast Eagles AFL cap and no one was prepared to tell him to take it off.

Paul Upham
Contributing Editor

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