Danny Green: Six Fights That Defined His Career
15.04.08 - By Srithar Visuasam: As you all would be aware, Australian boxer Danny Green has retired. He has retired a reigning world champion and has retired due to no further desire to prove anything more in the ring and with a look to his future health. His record at retirement was 25-3, with 22 wins by knockout..
Article posted on 15.04.2008
As days go on, people will talk about Danny Green and what he is best remembered for. The following goes to detail the most important fights within his professional career that defined him as a boxer. Whether in triumph or defeat, the lessons learnt in each of these fights had a profound impact in shaping the career of ‘The Green Machine’.
Markus Beyer DQ5 Danny Green
After 16 wins on the trot since debut, Danny Green faced the first major test of his pro career, a world title bout against WBC Super Middleweight champion, German Markus Beyer. Green went into the fight a slight underdog as the fight was held in Beyer’s homeland of Germany, which has a notorious reputation for questionable decisions. The fight was an explosive affair with Green the aggressor, staying true to the approach of his previous 16 straight wins by KO. Beyer was shaken up by Green’s aggressive nature and was knocked down once in rounds one and again in round two. An accidental head butt by Green on Beyer in Round 2 triggered a cut above Beyer’s right eye.
Beyer regained his composure and attempted to box his way back into the fight, his skills beginning to emerge. It was halfway through round five when Danny Green made contact again with his head onto Beyer’s face, worsening the gash above Beyer’s right eye. The doctors were called in and initially the fight was to go to the scorecards to determine the winner; if this had been the case, Danny Green would have been new WBC Super Middleweight champion, clearly leading on points.
However, this decision was soon changed after animated scenes ringside and changed to a disqualification against Green as the head butt was deemed deliberate. Green’s camp felt robbed and this was the widely shared view across Australia. The call for a DQ did have some merit as to the naked eye it was agreed by many that it appeared as an intentional headbutt. Though many would argue that if the fight wasn’t held in Germany the fight would’ve went to the cards and Green would be victor. Green was determined to seek a rematch to ensure justice prevailed next time around.
Danny Green TKO6 Eric Lucas
With Beyer out of action due to the large cut suffered in the Green fight, the WBC offered an interim title due to his absence. The winner of this bout would have the right to fight Beyer and be his mandatory upon his readiness to the ring. Green would fight former WBC super middleweight champion Canadian Eric Lucas. Lucas a well credentialed fighter also had a vendetta with Beyer to settle, having lost his belt to Beyer in Germany by split decision. With steely determination, Green, the knockout specialist, traveled to Canada where the fight would take place.
The fight was a surprisingly one sided affair with Green dominating most rounds en route to a sixth round stoppage of Lucas. Lucas would be his biggest scalp to date in his career, a fighter who had previously been in the ring with world champions Roy Jones Jr. Fabrice Tiozzo and Glenn Catley. It is widely regarded that this was the heaviest defeat Lucas suffered within his career. This win put Green right on track for a rematch with Beyer to clinch the full version of the title.
Danny Green UD10 Sean Sullivan
Following his win over Eric Lucas, Danny Green faced off with rugged New Zealand fighter Sean Sullivan. After two fights overseas on the trot, Green was back in Perth to show his wares in front of his beloved home crowd. Sullivan, 65 fights into his career, had never been stopped before and only months earlier put in a solid showing against Green’s arch rival Anthony Mundine, in front of his home crowd in Auckland.
Green was expected to put away Sullivan with consummate ease and was widely backed to be the first fighter to knockout the tough Sullivan. However, Sullivan remained on his feet after the 10 rounds and although defeated by wide margins on all scorecards, became the first fighter on Green’s record to not be stopped within the distance.
After the win was when the drama unfolded. Immediately after the fight Danny was carried away by his team to a nearby hospital where he was treated for a severe case of heat stress. It was feared at the time the heavily dehydrated Green could have even died. In respect to the episode, Green stated later in an interview to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper "I was so dehydrated that I lost all my short-term memory. I thought I had been knocked out. It wasn't until 45 minutes after the fight that I realised I'd won.” It is thought that the effects of this fight had left a scar on his career that would impact his fights to come.
Markus Beyer MD12 Danny Green
Just over 18 months after his controversial disqualification to Markus Beyer in their first fight, the long awaited rematch took place which allowed Danny to be able to rewrite the past. Green came into the fight prepared and determined to finally get his hands on the full piece of the WBC Super Middleweight title. The fight was again in Germany, which left people skeptical and nervous that if the fight went to the scorecards or up to the referee, judges, doctors etc., it would not be Danny’s night.
Ultimately, it wasn’t Danny’s night. However, the only person that could be blamed was Markus Beyer. Beyer fought a supremely tactical fight against Green in the rematch, his counterpunching skills a feature. Green, the walk-up fighter he is, did not fight his usual fight and instead tried to box his way to victory, a tactic that didn’t pay dividends. Throughout the first eleven rounds, the fight was quite a competitive affair with Beyer landing the more telling punches.
It wasn’t until the final round when Danny knew a knockout would be the only way to secure victory where he stepped it up a few notches. As soon as the bell went for Round 12, Green charged at Beyer and pounded him with a number of blows dropping him. Beyer received a standing eight count and had about 2:15 to survive, where Green continued his pursuit of a KO. The final bell sounded with Beyer barely managing to escape the ring on two feet.
In the end, two of the judges scored the fight in Beyer’s favour 114-113, 115-112 and one gave it a 114-114 draw resulting in a majority decision victory to Beyer. The bout was indeed close however the decision couldn’t be questioned. Beyer was the deserved winner. In the aftermath of the bout, trainer Jeff Fenech left to devote his time to an ill fated Mike Tyson comeback while Danny employed the services of Cuban Ismael Salas as his trainer in the quest for his world title.
Anthony Mundine UD12 Danny Green
In what was billed the biggest fight in Australian boxing history, fierce rivals Danny Green and Anthony Mundine finally locked horns in a mega showdown. The rivalry between the two had virtually started since Green began his professional career in 2001, with both camps routinely exchanging barbs and calling each other out throughout the five year period before their fight. Anthony Mundine, the former Australian rugby league star, has always been a prime target for Australian boxers as his fights attract widespread media attention and big dollars. However, Mundine’s previous countrymen foes had never proven quite a match for his slick handspeed and evasive skills. With Green though, it was widely considered that Mundine had now met his match and had the power to boot.
Green and Mundine met on May 17 2006 and even had separate weigh ins. They had never faced eye to eye until the moment they stepped into the ring at the outdoor Aussie Stadium in Sydney in front of a massive 30,000 strong crowd. The build up to the fight was huge however the contest within the fight never quite lived up to the hype.
After being the aggressor in the first round, Green found himself on the back of numerous counter punch attacks from Mundine. Green attacked predominantly at the body, which was the only area he could really penetrate. Mundine’s supreme evasive skills came to the fore which saw Green punching air on many occasions. Mundine’s rapid hand speed sent a number of power shots through Green’s defenses, though Danny kept pressing forward and was throwing leather to the final bell.
The scorecards read 116-113, 118-111 and 118-112 all in favour of Mundine. The fight is widely regarded as the biggest fight held on Australian soil. Green was devastated by the result and after some soul searching announced he was to campaign at Light Heavyweight, as his body size was a natural fit in this division.
Danny Green UD12 Stipe Drews
After an impressive 15 months of fighting at his new weight, Green landed his shot at a world title in the Light Heavyweight division. His opponent, Croatian beanpole WBA champion Stipe Drews. Green had earned his shot at the title via three impressive wins against quality opposition, countrymen Jason De Lisle and Paul Murdoch and American Otis Griffin. Green also was fortunate enough to lure Drews to fight in his hometown of Perth, fulfilling his lifelong dream of fighting for a world title in front of his beloved fans.
Drews’ record going into the fight was a highly impressive 32-1 (13 KOs). He won the title by defeating champion Silvio Branco in Germany earlier that year and Green was his first scheduled defense. His only previous loss was also to an Australian, a wide points loss to Paul Briggs in August 2004. Drews at 6’5” with a 4 inch height and 5 inch reach advantage over Green, had the physical stats in his favour. The only problem come fight night was his desire.
Danny Green from the outset fought like a man determined to win a world title. Drews on the other hand, looked like a timid sparring partner trying to increase his fitness levels. Although never looking like knocking him out, Green had every round covered with the scorers and rather than taking the title from the champ, the champ looked like he was giving the title away, with Green the beneficiary. The scores of 118-111, 118-110 and shutout of 120-108 were clearly reflective of this. The win against Drews was mission accomplished in his career and came a week prior to his wife Nina giving birth to their second child.
After beating Drews, Green had a multitude of options ahead of him. These included luring boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. to Australia for a mega fight and a rematch with his arch nemesis Anthony Mundine, this time at Green’s preferred weight.
However, only weeks prior to his scheduled mandatory defense, Argentine Hugo Garay, Green decided to call it quits. His reason - a lack of desire, a look to his future health and to leave the sport at the peak of his career. It was said Garay was tailor made for Green’s style and that he should achieve a comfortable victory. Though to Green, he had done his time in the ring and was ready for the next stage of his life.
Danny Green was an entertaining boxer to watch and you always felt there was a knockout around the corner when he was on song. Despite losing a few major fights, he always gave his heart and soul whenever he stood toe to toe in the ring. With a final record of 25-3 with 22 knockouts, he can look back on his career and be proud of all his achievements in the squared circle culminating in a world title.
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