Mundine reigns in showdown with Green - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mundine reigns in showdown with Green

By Paul Mulvey 18/05/2006 12:34:34 AM Comments (0)

Anthony Mundine delivered an emphatic answer to his own question with a unanimous points decision over Danny Green in their savage world title eliminator.

"Who's the man, who's the man?" he asked the crowd after outpointing Green in the most anticipated fight in Australia in decades.

Whenever Green threw the questions at Mundine with his power and toughness, the former rugby league player responded with a series of stinging combinations to set up an expected match against WBA super-middleweight world champion Mikkel Kessler.

In the last of a ferocious 12 rounds at Aussie Stadium, Mundine rocked Green with a combination to the head and taunted the Perth fighter to "Come on."

As he did all fight, Green came back at Mundine but in the end nodded to his opponent at the final bell in acknowledgement to his conqueror.

"I just want to thank Danny for a great fight," Mundine said.

"He put up a good performance, he came ready, he came prepared.

"I was the better man tonight Dan, thank you very much."

Mundine said he was ready to take on Denmark's Kessler who beat him in their world title fight in June last year.

"It was a close fight last time, he's a great fighter," Mundine said.

"I think he's the best out there at the moment, but I showed last time I can match it with him.

"I've improved a lot since then."

He showed that improvement tonight, handling Green's power and bouncing back after being hit with the some crunching blows to both body and head.

"I was starting to get loose man, Danny was starting to put a lot of pressure on me, he's got a good long jab, I had to evade that," he said.

"I utilised my speed to catch him and it paid dividends.

"I was looking for the knockout, I caught him with a few great shots, he can take a great punch."

The fight had six years of hype and antagonism to live up to and was personal from the outset with Mundine's mother Lyn yelling at her son from ringside to "Knock him out Choc, shut him up my baby".

All those years of built-up animosity and spite came thrashing out in the ferocious opening rounds and continued throughout.

The fight opened with a little wrestle and a nose-to-nose eyeballing as the fierce rivals came face to face for the first time in their lives.

And they both showed they wanted to make up for lost time, Green punishing Mundine's body and Mundine using the speed of his jab, slicing one through on the bell to end the first round.

The pace remained hectic in the first four rounds, with Mundine standing tall and using his jab while Green mixed his power punches.

A small cut opened up below Green's right eye and he was bleeding from the nose in the fourth round as the tempo slowed, but only marginally.

As the fight wore on, Mundine, 30, looked in greater control and in better condition.

Green, 33, threw everything into his power body punches which were often swiftly answered by Mundine But whenever he looked hurt, Green responded, splitting Mundine's lip in the 11th, but he had thrown everything into the fight and could not land the knock out blow which was the only way he could have won the fight in the latter rounds.

Judge Pinit Prayadsab from Thailand gave the fight to Mundine 118-11, Korean Michael Lee scored it 116-113 and Australian Derek Milham had it 118-112.

"Anthony Mundine, a lot has been said in the past, he just fought a better fight tonight, he just beat me fair and square," Green said.

"I have no excuses at all, I trained unbelievable, my preparation was great.

"I have no excuses other than that Anthony was the better man tonight, he showed great skill and great speed.

"He's hard to tag and to be honest it was a very difficult fight."

Mundine took his record to 26-3 but revealed he had been sick earlier this month and missed five days of training.

He suggested a rematch with Green could be on the cards.

"We can do it again maybe, soon," he said.

And the appreciative crowd including corporate leaders, former world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, bikie gangs, peroxide blondes and rugby league players would happily come back for more.

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