By Craig Watt
Not since legendary heavyweight Jack Johnson came in 1908 has there been such a high profile fighter boxing in the country of Australia. Now in 2009 former eight times world champion Roy Jones Jr is poised to make boxing history when he takes on local Aussie hero Danny Green for the IBO cruiserweight title at the Acer Arena in Sydney on December 2nd. The significance of the match is not just the fact it will be the biggest revenue fight in Australian boxing history, but like Jack Johnson’s fight when he secured the world heavyweight title for the first time outpointing Tommy Burns and becoming the first black heavyweight champion there is also a historical context in this fight.
If Jones Jr (54-5, 40 KO’s) defeats the 36 year old Green (27-3, 24 KO’s) from Perth, Western Australia he will be the only boxer to have won world titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, cruiserweight and heavyweight –a resume of the highest order in the sport.
The 40 year old Jones Jr from Pensacola, Florida has been in confident spirits since he arrived in Sydney last Sunday. On arrival at Sydney airport he was quick to proclaim a knockout victory over IBO 200 pound champion Green, himself a former WBA light heavyweight and WBC interim super middleweight champion.
He completed a public workout on Tuesday at the Star City Casino in Sydney and was even seen fishing on the banks of Sydney Harbour on Thursday. He is enjoying his time in Australia but recognises he has a job to do and try and secure the missing title in his boxing resume, with plenty of respect for his opponent.
The future Hall of Famer told Fightnews, “I want to be remembered as one of the best fighters in history and this fight helps me secure the cruiserweight title – the only belt I am missing.”
“I am 110% ready for this challenge with Danny Green – right here right now.
“People think I talk a lot but what I am saying is not stupid. I am not over confident – I’m not saying the guy can’t punch. I am not saying the guy isn’t capable of knocking someone out. That’s not what I am saying – I understand that going in to the fight.
“I don’t want to fight easy fights with poor fighters who will harm the legacy of what I am trying to achieve – I want the strong fighters who will test me. The better the opponent, the better Roy Jones Jr will have to be and this is where I want to be in my career right now.
“I want to put on a show for the fans here in Australia and show them one of the best fighters of their generation. Boxing is an entertainment business and that’s why we need these strong match ups – there will be a full house on Wednesday and they have all paid their money to watch a good challenging fight and that’s what we will give them.”
Despite the respect for Green, Jones Jr remains ultra confident stating, “Look – I have respect for Danny but I know I will knock him out inside the distance. He is a puncher, he has power at cruiserweight and so I need to be at my best and use all my speed, experience, power and god given ability. When the moment comes I know I have too much for him, too much speed, too much boxing ability, too much natural ability.
“Speed wins everything – in boxing history of the great fighters Ray Robinson, Ray Leonard, speed is the deciding factor and you are born with this skill, it cannot be made in the gym. I aim to use these god-given skills and when the opportunity comes take my chance to make boxing history and win every world title belt from middleweight to heavyweight.”
It is estimated that the Acer Arena in the iconic Olympic Park in Sydney, built specifically for the 2000 Olympics will be sold out to the tune of 18,000 fans by Wednesday. Many could see a special moment in Australian boxing history and a historic moment in boxing when a modern day boxing legend cements his future hall of fame status with a clean sweep of weight division titles from middleweight to heavyweight.
With a 2010 PPV fight with old adversary Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins already inked then the pressure is on for the former eight time world champion to deliver the skills that have made him such a respected fighter of the modern era.
The fight will be shown on PPV in Australia through Main Events and will screen from 6pm AEDT. In the build up to the bout classic fights of Danny Green and Roy Jones Jr are airing free on Main Event Channel 518 in Australia with Jones Jr bouts with Tarver, Trinidad, Calzaghe, Halshaw and Jeff Lacy amongst others in six hour sessions each day.