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Green vs Jones Jr?

Photo: Craig Watt

Photo: Craig Watt

By Craig Watt

There is a growing feeling in Australia that potentially the biggest fight in Australian boxing history is heading to the “rocks” as both former WBA light-heavyweight champion Danny Green (26-3, 23 KO’s) and former WBA super-middleweight champion Anthony Mundine (35-3, 23 KO’s) cannot agree the detail over weight and venue for their proposed re-match. Green now looks likely to try and secure a fight at 175 pounds with American Roy Jones Jnr, later in 2009 and is confident a match can be made. It was confirmed in the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday that Danny Green and his team are now looking to a potential match with Roy Jones Jnr as a preferred option, rather than a re-match with his arch rival Mundine. Green stated, “We’ve been in negotiations with Roy and his management team for a while and it looks promising.”

He added further, “Having a win over Roy Jones Jnr would be an honour, something you would be proud of to tell your grandchildren because of the calibre of fighter he is.”

Green came out of retirement in April and defeated South African Anthony Van Nierkirk inside two rounds at the Challenge Stadium in Perth, Western Australia which was stage one of a planned route to a multi-million dollar showdown with Mundine, who out pointed him in 2006 in Sydney. It is reported that their original fight generated each fighter in excess of $5m and took place in front of a live gate of 37,000 fans at the Sydney Stadium and generated over 800,000 PPV buys in Australia.

Mundine won their original fight on wide scores of 118-112, 118-111 and 116-113 after dominating the match with superior speed and boxing.

It was expected that the 36 year old Green would take on Mundine’s last victim Shannon Taylor in August in Sydney in the next stage of his comeback but his plans now look likely to re-direct to appearing on the undercard of the Jeff Lacy v Roy Jones Jnr match in New Orleans on August 22nd.

Green announced his return to the boxing ring when he landed in a helicopter at Perth Subiaco Oval on February 10th and stated the return was purely targeted at a re-match with Mundine. He stated, “This fight is about revenge and redemption – Mundine beat me fair and square last time and this return in about settling the ledger.”

Part of the failure to ink the re-match with Mundine has been the disagreement over venue and the weight division the match up will take place. Green is adamant the bout should be at 175 pounds and the venue should be the 40,000 capacity Subiaco Oval in Perth, Western Australia. This is because in their initial match, Green agreed to fight in Sydney, where Mundine was the local fighter.

Mundine however has dropped down to the 160 pound middleweight division and takes on unbeaten Daniel Geale for the IBO title on Wednesday and has recently stated he has no interest in the Green match, preferring to challenge WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm as the mandatory challenger and then take on Kelly Pavlik in a middleweight unification match. Indeed, he has recently stated that his match with Geale will be his last fight in his native Australia and sees his own career progression in the US, rather than a re-match with Danny Green.

Many observers believe that the planned re-match will indeed happen in early 2010 but the route to that match may not run straight. Whatever the relative issues over weight and location for a re-match, the revenue generation of Green V Mundine II would make it the biggest fight in Australian boxing history with each fighter expected to earn in excess of $5m.

Mundine’s IBO middleweight title challenge against unbeaten champion Daniel Geale can be seen on Main Events PPV on Wednesday from the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

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