Danny Green, talks to the crowd after his win in Perth
By Paul Upham in Perth: While no one can agree on what the outcome of their fight will be, one thing sure for now is that after their respective wins on Sunday night in Perth, Anthony Mundine and Danny Green will meet each other in the ring early next year. It is the fight that Australian boxing has been waiting for and if the passion and feeling demonstrated by the sell out crowd of over 5,500 people at the Challenge Stadium in Perth is any indication of the interest this match-up will generate, it is going to be one thrilling ride to fight night.
Former WBA world champion Mundine stopped 30 year-old Samoan Rico Chong Nee 10-7-2 (6) by 3rd round knockout, while former WBC Interim world champion Green won a unanimous points decision over tough 37 year-old Mexican Kirino Garcia 37-27-3 (27). The two highly rated super middleweights fighting in the same ring on the same card for the very first time. Chong Nee and Garcia were brought in as opponents and were expected to lose. The real interest being the amazing theatre of the Mundine-Green rivalry, one of Australian sports' most bitter, even though the two men have still never met face to face.
This card was designed to promote their planned clash next year and vision of Mundine giving his throat slash gesture to Green seated at ringside and Team Mundine running out of the arena with bottles and debris from Green fans raining down around them will add nicely to the vision of the overall saga.
Danny Green vs. Kirino Garcia
After Mundine had insisted that he was the main event in the lead-up to the promotion, Danny Green fought first and had walked out to the ring slowly but confidently to his signature music, "The Land Downunder" by Men At Work. The 32 year-old had amazing fan support even considering that this fight was in his hometown. The Australian, in black trunks with green trim, looked determined as Kirino Garcia, wearing bright dark blue trunks, looked a couple of pounds over his best weight.
In round 1, Green 21-2 (19) came out jabbing to the body early. Boxing on the outside, he picked off Garcia as the Mexican came forward. Garcia was throwing lead right hands, but nothing that really troubled Green. Round 2 saw both men exchanging jabs early. Green was trying to land his right hook to the body, as Garcia threw his own right hand. The chant of "Green Machine" began thundering around the arena as a strong jab from Green snapped Garcia's head back. Garcia landed a high right hand as Green tried to work the body. There was little foot movement from both men as they shuffled around the ring, keeping a constant distance between them and switching leads. A good uppercut from Green and then a strong jab finished a good round for him. Garcia was jabbing faster in round 3. Green missed with a right hand and then did a little dance. Strong jabs from Green, then a right hand to the body and a right hook high on the head was a nice combination. The boxers traded right hands as Garcia hooks to the body. The Mexican keeps coming forward as a right hand from Green snapped his head back again. He continues to march forward and receives stinging right hands to the body from the Australian. Green come out jabbing in round 4 and picked his punches from the outside. Garcia landed a right hand over the top as a trickle of blood is seen from Green's nose. Garcia is fighting a constant pace moving forward. Round 5 saw crisp jabs from Green. He was on target and followed with a right uppercut which landed directly underneath Garcia's chin. The Mexican simply takes the punches and comes forward. A Green right hand knocks Garcia off balance and then three big right hands from the 2000 Olympian finishes the round.
Between rounds 5 and 6, live pictures of Anthony Mundine warming up in his dressing room on the big video screens in the arena lead to a loud series of boos. Green uses a lead right hand in round 6. He has taken so many punches comfortably the question now is whether Garcia can be hurt? Green rocks him with a right hand only to see Garcia respond with his own right. Garcia becomes more wild with his punches as Green fights a controlled battle. Taking his time and picking his shots instead of forcing the knockout. Lead right hands from Garcia opens round 7. For the first time Garcia looks slightly beaten in his facial expressions as Green's jab continues like a piston. Garcia is wobbled slightly by a right hand in round 8 and he is not charging back at Green like he had in the past. A right uppercut/left hook from Green who is timing his punches as Garcia comes forward. Green starts to pick up the pace with more combinations and finishes with a triple right hand. Round 9 sees jabbing and moving from Green. Two right hands from him and Garcia replies with one of his own. Garcia is trying to smother Green on the ropes but a right uppercut sees him able to spin away. A double right hand from Green and Garcia responds with his own right. Round 10 and both men touch gloves. Garcia is still working despite taking tremendous punishment. A double left jab from Green lands as he picks up the pace, possible now looking for the knockout win. Green's corner then yells out at him to be sensible and to keep his left hand up. Garcia is backed up on the ropes as both men punch to the final bell. Both fighters embrace and Green acknowledges Garcia's toughness by applauding him to the crowd. Green winning the fight 100-90 on all three judges scorecards
"Thank you very much for Kirino Garcia coming to Perth," Green said in the ring, immediately after the win. "I hit him so clean and so hard and he would not go down. I said he would be tough. It wasn't a gimmick. He is one hard hombre. I knew he was going to test me. I have got ten rounds and I am rapt. (Ismael) Salas and I trained so hard. We are really happy. My whole team and the work we did in the gym was just awesome. I'm just pleased that I came and did the job I had to do. I knew he was a tough guy and I didn't bother jumping in. I just stay relaxed. (Trainer) Salas is a legend and we are going to go all the way."
"Danny's game plan was different because Garcia can take punches," said Kostya Tszyu, calling the fight for television at ringside. "He boxed today, not brawl. He took his time, enjoyed himself and dominated well."
Green then did Mundine no favours with the frenzied crowd, telling them that they should tell "The Man" exactly what they think of him.
"Perth, you have got a guy coming out next who disrespected the lot of us," he said. "Lets give him the welcome he deserves. Who in this place wants to see Mundine get knocked out?"
Anthony Mundine vs. Rico Chong Nee
30 year-old Mundine was surrounded by a large entourage and as he came into the ring, he told the television cameras, "I can't be beat, I am the Man. I can't be beat, I am the Man". Chong Nee had entered the ring first and was cheered every step of the way by the crowd in one of the best receptions ever heard for a visiting boxer. The crowd even cheered the New Zealand national anthem such was their support for Chong Nee. The boos for Mundine 25-3 (20) had begun long before he even entered the arena. The former rugby league star had never been booed like this before in Australia. 'Is this the worst reception an Australian boxer has ever received in Australia,' asked an observer at ringside?
Earlier, Mundine had told interviewer Kostya Tszyu in the dressing room, "I just want to get in a dominating performance and work on a few things that I have been working on in the gym. Look pretty and look good like I always do."
He then had this message for the fans.
"I'm the best, pound for pound, going down," Mundine rapped, "I can't be beat and you are all going to see that when I fight tonight and when we fight next year that I can't be beat. I'm a new man, I'm the King. You are going to see the real Anthony Mundine prevail and blossom and grow into something you never thought he would be."
Wearing white trunks, with dark blue trim, Mundine raised his arms in open defiance to his negative reception from the crowd. Talking to them as he stalked the ring and giving the throat slash symbol to no one in particular. Looking as cocky as ever, Mundine was holding the Aboriginal flag as Chong Nee eyed him from across the ring in his New Zealand flag trunks.
As the two fighters came to centre ring, there was a fresh cheer from the crowd as Danny Green re-entered the arena with "The Land Downunder" playing once again. It was boxing at its WWE best and Vince McMahon would have been proud of the timing of Green's walk. After the two boxers had been ushered back to their corners by referee Brad Vocale, Mundine caught sight of Green less than twenty metres away from him. Mundine rushed over to the ropes pointing out at Green, who was oblivious to him as he had his back to the ring acknowledging the crowd in the tiered seating behind him. The crowd booed Mundine who was waving over to Green trying to get his attention. Mundine was trash talking him as Green finally sat down at a ringside table next to his wife Nina. Excitement gripped the arena as they locked eyes momentarily, only for Mundine to have to return to his corner at the insistence of the referee.
Round 1 and the chant of "Mundine's a wanker" began and was a constant throughout the fight. After spending time with him during his training camp for his third fight with Antonio Tarver, Mundine more and more moves and punches like Roy Jones Jr in the ring. Even his beard is reminiscent of one of Jones Jr's styles and his shoulder shimmy, feet movement and punches, all resemble the former pound for pound great. Both Mundine and Chong Nee are dancing and posing in the early seconds. Mundine is very aggressive and seemingly determined to finish the fight early. Mundine jabs as Chong Nee does little on the outside. The crowd is cheering every punch that Chong Nee does throw, while Mundine is looking confident on the inside. Very purposeful with his punches, Mundine lands a right hook to the body to finish the round. Mundine lands a left hook to begin round 2, while there is not much in return from Chong Nee. Swelling already appearing above his left eye as a right hook to the body from Mundine makes him grimace. Chong Nee backs up on the ropes as the blistering hand speed of Mundine is allowing him to control the fight. A right hand to the body from Mundine sees Chong Nee waving Mundine on. Chong Nee is trying to exchange on the inside at the beginning of round 3. Mundine lands a right hand/left hook combination. Chong Nee is then rocked by a Mundine right hand and does a shoulder shimmy trying to show he was not hurt. Chong Nee lands a good right hand and Mundine's back foot slips on the canvas. "The Man" does not look happy that he took the punch as Chong Nee tries to trash talk him. Chong Nee lands a right uppercut, but Mundine responds with three right hands to the body and the Auckland based fighter takes a knee on the canvas. As referee Brad Vocale counts Chong Nee, he jumps up at the last second but the referee reaches ten and waves off the contest.
Mundine looked over at Green in the crowd and said, "that one's for you", to which Green just smiled menacingly back at him. Then in an instant, Mundine and his team were gone. Mundine left the ring before the winning announcement and the crowd is left stunned as they boo his escape. Bottles and debris shower down as Mundine is shielded as he runs through the tunnel to the dressing rooms. Outsmarting the crowd and disarming the situation by leaving quickly, Mundine was clever knowing that he could never had got the better of them verbally by staying in centre ring. Chong Nee was cheered as he limped out of the arena and there was the unusual sight of no boxers being in the ring for the official announcement by host Mathew Campbell. As one ringside scribe said of Mundine's performance, "He came, he won, he bolted!"
Mundine and his team, family and friends then celebrated happily in his dressing rooms for over an hour before finally leaving the arena after the majority of the crowd had dispersed. The fight in Green's hometown had been handled with military like precision. Father/trainer Tony Mundine and manager Khoder Nasser not leaving anything to chance. Full credit to Mundine, who did not have to take the fight in Perth and did so knowing full well that he would not receive a good reception from Green's home town fans.
Danny Green fought a controlled fight without taking any risks. With such a big fight with Mundine on the line, this was understandable. Garcia's reputation as a true ring warrior is well deserved and he came to fight throughout even though he did not win a round. It is likely that Green kept some of his more colourful combinations and his more usually aggressive manner in reserve, not wanting to tip Team Mundine off to what new tricks trainer Ismael Salas has had him working on. The experienced Garcia gave Green exactly the type of workout he was looking for. Rating = 8/10
Anthony Mundine faced the easier opponent and a gallant Chong Nee was simply outclassed. To the casual observer Mundine indeed looked better of the two on the night, but the comparable quality of opposition must be considered. Green's co-trainer David Birchell is a measure of the difference in talent between Garcia and Chong Nee. He had stopped Chong Nee in the amateurs in two rounds in the 1990's. Mundine is renown for also fighting more freely and confidently against opponents he knows he can outspeed and outmanoeuvre easily. When Mundine faces Green, he will fight in a style more like he did against Mikkel Kessler than he did against Chong Nee. Rating = 7/10
Anthony Mundine vs. Danny Green?
Danny Green had his right hand in ice immediately after the bout but was cleared of any break on Monday, so there is no reason for any extended delay in making Mundine vs. Green.
"I think it is going to be a tough, hard fight," said former IBF junior lightweight champion Barry Michael, who called the action with Tszyu. "Danny Green has got one punch knockout power, but I think he is going to find it hard to catch Anthony Mundine. I tend to lean towards a decision to Anthony Mundine over the distance."
"I try to play good politics," said Tszyu. "The way both fighters fought today, I give them both a chance to win."
But the former undisputed junior welterweight champion questions whether the two boxers will be able to get a guarantee on the money they will reportedly be making over the two co-promoted fights nights. Mundine will reportedly be earning A$3 million while Green will pocket A$2.5 million.
"I don't like predictions at all," said Tszyu. "There is another three months ahead. A lot can change. Even though I think now the fight can happen, I'm still thinking that some things can change. There is something there in the back of my mind saying that this fight may not happen. It's all about money. I have been in this business for a long time and we mainly only have Australia to get the revenue from for this fight. This fight is not big internationally. Both of them want millions of dollars. There are many costs for the promotion, the undercard and advertising. Money is one of the problems, but I hope it is not."
While one Sydney newspaper has been reporting a date of February 26 for the fight, the date and venue has not yet been confirmed. A number of factors must be considered including;
* Whether to hold the fight before or after the beginning of the National Rugby League competition season start on 10th March 2006. Normally Mundine's fight have not been held on Saturday nights or Sunday's during the rugby league season so as not to clash with NRL games. During the winter Mundine has been holding his fights on a Wednesday night. Monday night is also an option.
* While Sydney is the favourite city to host the fight, Melbourne with its fan friendly live gates which would allow for more pay-per-view sales in Sydney is still an option.
* Any potential clash with the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne from 15th March to 26th March 2006.
It seems that the fight will not happen till late March or April at the earliest. There will be no official announcement and press conference until at least late January after the majority of people have returned from Christmas/New Year holidays.
Team Mundine and Green Machine Promotions will now shop around the event to all of the major arenas capable of holding such a huge fight which could draw a live gate of close to 30,000 people. Ultimately the best deal financially will be the major factor in deciding the venue.
Perth's Daniel "The Rock" Dawson again looked impressive in winning by 4th round TKO over Mike Wanprasert from Thailand. 28 year-old Dawson 23-0 (15) hurt Wanprasert in round 1 and then dropped him twice with right hands in round 2. The Thai lost one point for holding in round 3 and was dropped by left hooks twice in round 4. Referee Gary Ingraham waved the contest off at the 2:51 minute mark.
IBO Asia Pacific featherweight champion Ahmed "Trigger" Elomar 11-0 (4) won a six round points decision over Choreon Patavikorngym from Thailand. 22 year-old Elomar from Sydney was aggressive throughout and landed some eye catching combinations which thrilled the crowd, but he was not able to stop the tough and gallant visitor. Judges scored the fight for Elomar 60-53, 59-55 and 60-54.
The Billy Hussein trained Mohammed "Gun" Elomar 10-0 (3) from Sydney dropped Thailand's Wayu Windygym three times with body shots in round 3 to win by TKO at super featherweight with referee Gary Ingraham waving off the contest.
Gold and silver medals were awarded to all boxers fighting on Sunday's card and it was a nice touch from Green Machine Promotions to see both winners and loser walking out of the ring with something to show for their efforts...Brad Vocale, who officiated both co-main events, continues to show that he is one of the best referee's in the world today. Hopefully the WBC will reward him with some assignments for their world title fights in 20006...current Australian test cricketer Justin Langer was an interested observer sitting at one of the tables at ringside...The Perth based Guyana born Gairy "Superman" St Clair 37-3-2 (17) will face Mexican Orlando Salido 23-9-2 (15) for the IBF No.1 featherweight ranking on 4th February 2006 in Indonesia. "I know that I will beat him," St Clair told SecondsOut. "I have to beat him. This is my big chance to get back on top."...Danny Green certainly has respect for Kostya Tszyu, "Thanks to Kostya Tszyu. Put your hands together ladies and gentlemen, for Australia's greatest boxer ever," he told the crowd from the ring after his win...Tszyu told viewers that he would not be making a decision on his boxing career for at least another five months.