The Mundine and Green show

08.12.05 - By Gavin Stone: Mundine and Green, two names that are now legend within Australian boxing, sport- and society itself. Everyone has an opinion on Mundine and Green; when will they fight? Who will win? Is Green going to knock out that over confident Mundine? We will find out who has the bragging rights in early 2006 when the two meet in a super fight that will be sanctioned as a Super Middleweight World Title eliminator, but before this- the two will fight in an historic double header at Perth’s Challenge Stadium on Sunday the 11th December.. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the Mundine and Green show!

The card- to be co promoted by Green Machine Promotions and Boxa International- will feature both Mundine and Green in what is billed as a double main event. Regardless of who is first or last- Mundine or Green- both will be the feature bouts of the night- as evident of a 5,500 sell out for the event within days of tickets going on sale, even with no undercard or- even opponents set for Mundine and Green!

The Mundine-Green double header will be the first time that the two former world champions have been on the same card. Both Mundine and Green have been through both up and down years, which paints a fascinating picture in the lead up to the December 11 card.

Green- who goes by the pseudonym of “The Green Machine”- has not had the year he would have been looking for. After losing his title bit against WBC World Champion Markus Beyer- Green has gone onto; breaking with trainer and manager Jeff Fenech, hiring new trainer- Cuban born - Ismael Salas, appointing accountant and close friend Justin Manolikos as manger and promoter, disposing of American World Title challenger James Crawford in 5 rounds and then scheduling-punctuating and finally pulling out with injury of a bout with American Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton.

It was the cancellation of the bout with Pemberton which speed up negotiations with Team Mundine for both the December 11 card- and the Mundine-Green showdown in early 2006. Pemberton went onto challenge IBF World Champion Jeff Lacy for the 168lb title. The injury to Green- two broken vertebrae in lower thoracic section- was inflicted during a tough sparring session with former IBF Light Heavyweight king-Latino American- Julio Gonzales.

Green, nonetheless had a positive outlook on the injury, stating in a Q&A with Ray Wheatley:

"My back injury has progressed nicely, albeit a fairly frustrating and tedious process of rest and rehabilitation. Basically, the 2 broken vertebrae needed time to heal. There was definitely an upshot of 6 weeks on the couch, which was my daughter using me as a pillow and a cushion”.

The time had also given Green a chance to have a close look at his arch rival.

"It has given me six weeks to study Anthony Mundine, what he does inside the ring, how he reacts to pressure, how he reacts to punishment and how he deals out punishment. I have had a lot of time to do that and I've been watching him intensely and focusing on what I am going to need to do in the fight.”

However Mundine has had his doubts over the legitimacy of Green’s injury, commenting:

"He ain't got no back injury - he's full of crap!”

Greens opponent on December 11 will be tough Mexican hombre Karino Garcia- a fighter best renowned for losing his first 18 professional bouts before coming back to establish a string of victories which lead him to capture the WBC International Light Middleweight Title, a truly remarkable achievement. Garcia will provide Green with 10 tough rounds, a battle in which viewers will enjoy; both fighters like to brawl on the inside- always good recipe for an entertaining duel- boxing or otherwise.

Like Green, 2005 has not provided the results that master of affirmations- self proclaimed Black Superman- Anthony Mundine would have been looking for.

The 30 year old Mundine began the year with hopes of revenge with a February 2 scheduled rematch with Puerto Rican Manuel Siaca. Mundine lost his WBA World Title to Siaca in May 2004 via way of a close split point’s decision- despite universally respected boxing expert Paul Upham scoring the bout 115-114 to Mundine. Mundine was also fighting on a grade three ankle sprain suffered 7 days out from the fight- disabling “The Man” to use his second class lever system to full affect- therefore retarding the ability to fire his piston like jab at Siaca. Many felt that a fully fit Mundine would be too much for- now former champion- Siaca. Nonetheless, the rematch never eventuated with Siaca pulling out only days before the fight with a hand injury. A late replacement in Panamanian Darmell Castillo was hired to fill the void to enable to fight card to proceed.

With Mundine being the mandatory challenger to the WBA 168lb Title a fight was negotiated to take place in Sydney-Australia, with reigning champion, Viking Warrior, Mikkel Kessler. Kessler gave Siaca a hiding in November the previous year, and many felt that Kessler would be far too much for Mundine to handle. In an epic 12 round fight Kessler retained his title. Despite the loss, Mundine showed characteristics that were not previously seen; a solid chin and a willingness to fight on the inside, all while maintaining that cat like speed.

Mundine went onto dispose of African Rashid Matumla at Canberra’s AIS Arena in September. Matumla, known as “Snakeboy” was used as a keep active fight for Mundine, though Mundine did not treat “Snakeboy” lightly in 6 explosive rounds, with Main Event fight annalist Barry Michael commenting:

“They call this fella Snakeboy, well I reckon he is going to feel like he’s been bitten buy a snake tonight”

It was only days after the Mundine-Matumla fight that it was officially announced Mundine vs. Green would take place in early 2006- and the December 11 double header would precede what is expected to be the largest live gate in Australian boxing history.

Mundine will challenge 30 year old Rico Chong Nee on the December 11 card. Chong Nee- record of 10 wins 6 loses 2 draws- is best remembered for the thrilling fight in which he and Solak promoted Gurkan Ozkan participated in on the Anthony Mundine-Antwun Echols World Title fight undercard in September 2003 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Chong Nee has battled against world class fighters in Nader Hamdan, Anton Solopov Sakio Bika and the above mentioned Gurkan Ozkan- and has given a solid account of himself on each occasion. Chong Nee has a reputation as a very durable fighter with tremendous chin as well as good speed and reflexes, tending to fight more on the outside, much like Mundine himself.

Chong Nee- trained by his brother-in-law Tua Muaiava- says that his favorite fighters are colorful and charismatic legends in; Roy Jones Jr, Oscar DeLa Hoya and Prince Naseem Hamed. Chong Nee tends to adopt some of the moves of his favorites whilst in the square circle.

Chong Nee is very excited about the opportunity to fight “The Man’, stating in an interview with writer Paul Upham:

"The first thing I thought was that it was a great opportunity," he said. "I can really build up my career. Mundine is only a human being like me and he can be beaten. My philosophy is that you never know what can happen tomorrow and I have trained hard for this fight."

"Mundine suits my style” said Chong Nee.

"He fights like the way I fight. He moves well and sets up for his right hand."

Chong Nee’s last fight -against promising Australian Paul Miller- was ruled a technical draw after being stopped on cuts; the fight was a very close contest at the time of stoppage.

Mundine must not take a laissez-faire attitude into the bout and will have to be on his toes against Chong Nee to ensure that an upset does not take place. Mundine has been sparring with Light Heavyweight World Title contender Paul Briggs in some heated gym wars- with both giving back as much as they had taken- in preparation for Chong Nee.

During the lead up week the always confident Mundine is looking forward to the Sunday night clash:

"I've dedicated myself to be the best and I'm feeling good and strong. You will see just who is the best on Sunday night. I've never been in better shape for a fight. I plan to bamboozle Nee with my speed and lightning-fast combinations."

"I feel right now that I'm the best.” said Mundine

"If I fought anyone in the division, I can beat them and I can reign in the division in the next five, seven, eight years."

That was the synopsis from “The Black Superman” ahead of Sunday nights clash.

There is no doubt that Chong Nee will be uncomfortable against the superlative speed of Mundine, as Barry Michael would say- Mundine is so fast he could pluck flies out of the air.

With both Mundine and Green fighting on the same card- there has been speculation in the boxing fraternity from day one of the announcement of the December 11 fixture as who would fight last on the night; a right traditionally reserved for the Main Event attraction.

There was bickering from both Mundine and Green camps as to who would have the honour, with Green’s manager- Justin Manolikos- stating in an interveiw with Fairfax jounilist James Macsmith a week out from the event:

"It's Danny's town, it's Danny's crowd, we're running the promotion, so I don't see any reason why Mundine would headline the night," he said. "I know they're saying the same thing but when the matter is addressed, I will let them know in no uncertain terms that Danny will be going out last.

"I'm not letting Danny anywhere near Mundine because I don't want him to have anything to do with him. We're having separate press conferences and we won't cross paths at the weigh-in, so it will probably come to a head on the night. And when it does, Danny will be the last one to fight."

Mundine was a little more animated his his thought on the matter before the decision was made:

"I'm the main event," Mundine said. "I'm not ever fighting on any undercard. It's always been lights, camera, action when I jump into the ring and that's not going to change. Everyone knows that I'm the man and I'm the one that everyone wants to see. That bum(Green) can have his go and then I'll put on a real show."

Mundine’s manager- Khoder Nasser was also postive in that there would be a soloution to the issue:

"We're adamant that Anthony will fight last. Anyone who knows Anthony knows that he doesn't play second-best to anyone and that means he doesn't fight on undercards. Danny might think he is going to fight last… but I'm sure we will all play it the right way and let Anthony fight as the main event."

After privatly discussing the issue both paties came to an aggreement; Mundine Vs Chong Nee will be the final fight of the evening.

Despite both partied pride retarding a quick solution to issue, it must be said that both Green and Mundine will be the “Main Event” attractions on the evening- regardless of who fights last.

As mentioned by Manolikos- the 2 fighters went on to have separate press confernces yesterday- and both were not short of a word about each other with Mundine questioning the strength of Green’s chin for the first time:

"It's going to take him (Green) about two years to hit me, he's going to get a big shock when I hit him," Mundine told AAP.

"He's not going to get hit just once or twice, he's going to get hit hard and often, he's been hit before and he's chinny and I'm going to exploit it."

However Green disregarded Mundine’s comments and commented about being ringside for Mundine’s fight on Sunday night:

"I might learn some interesting and exciting points about how to conduct yourself like a peanut inside a boxing ring, but as far as boxing skill, I won't learn anything," Green said.

Dispute over who will come out last has not been the only topic of discussion from boxing fans. At a Pay Per View price of $49.95 many feel that the event could have included a higher quality- more evenly balanced undercard. With young up and coming stars; Daniel Dawson, brothers- Ahmed and Mohammed Elomar up against opponents with less ability than themselves- it could be said that there is room for improvement from a match making perspective. However, one must keep in mind that this is the Mundine and Green show, its “The Man” and “The Machine” that people are coming to see, whilst the undercard provides an opportunity for Australia’s up and comers to show their stuff, all be it against lower opposition. And with Dawson and the Elomar brothers being fighters of great quality at a national and regional level- the card is an opportunity for the Australian public to view out starts of the future, fighters that will carry the torch.

December 11 at Perth’s Challenge Stadium promises to be an exciting night of boxing. With Mundine and Green having never made eye contact with each other- and with the probability that they will after Mundine’s final fight on the card; the Mundine and Green show could become very interesting indeed!

Gavin Stone,

Article posted on 08.12.2005

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