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Roy Jones coming to Australia!

By Craig Watt

Former four weight world champion Roy Jones Jnr confirmed via telecast in Sydney on Wednesday that he would come to Australia in November this year and take on former WBA light-heavyweight and WBC interim super-middleweight champion Danny Green in probably what is Australia’s biggest boxing match up since Jack Johnson came to the country and fought Tommy Burns in 1908 in Sydney for the world heavyweight title. He stated, “I have never fought outside the USA as a professional and this fight gives me a chance to show the boxing fans in Australia Roy Jones in action. I was ringside when Danny fought Anthony Mundine in their first fight in Sydney and I know how popular he is as a fighter and a role model. He is a proud fighter and he is showing his class in coming to America to fight on the undercard of my next fight against Jeff Lacy and I am going to return the favour and come and fight him in his home country – probably in November. This is the date we are working to, but we both have to win our fights first against solid opponents. If Danny wins the IBO cruiserweight title in August then I can challenge for my world title in five different weights which is an excellent challenge for me.”

The 40 year old, speaking via telecast from Pensacola continued, “People are saying in Australia this fight will be the biggest in Australian history, since Jack Johnson came back in 1908 and this is a great compliment that my name is being linked in the same sentence and same status as one of the great legendary fighters. I am sure the boxing fans in Australia will want to be part of such an occasion and we can look forward to a boxing spectacle from two fighters who want to show the fans how important and exciting boxing is in Australia.”

First up though, both Green and Jones must come through their next fights when both will fight on the same co-feature on August 15th, pencilled for the Gulf Coast Arena in Biloxi, Mississippi with 40 year old Jones Jr facing former super-middleweight champion Jeff Lacy. The 36 year old Danny Green will take on Argentinean Julio Cesar Dominguez for the vacant IBO title at cruiserweight on the under card and by doing so attempt to win a world title at three different weights. Dominguez is relatively unknown and is 20-4-2, with 14 KO’s and is a rugged brawler

Roy Jones Jr confessed that he is still motivated by the sport of boxing despite being 4-4 in his last eight bouts. He stated, “I still have two years left in the sport and I will test myself with new challenges, like the one with Danny which is in a new country and for a new weight title. I am still motivated to continue in the sport with all the experience I have developed over such a long career.”

Jones Jr added that he would train alongside Green’s major adversary in Australia, Anthony Mundine who has won the WBA 168 pound title on two separate occasions and out pointed Green in their 2006 fight which drew over 35,000 fans in Sydney. He confirmed, “Everyone knows my dad coached Choc (Mundine) for a while and so we have some links with Anthony Mundine. I will train with Team Mundine in Sydney when I arrive in the preparation for this bout.”

The 36 year old Green, a former WBA light-heavyweight and WBC interim super middleweight champion was not under-estimating his challenge and stated, “You can see by my comments today I am full of respect for one of the best 15 fighters of all time in any era but I have a boxing job to do and I do believe I can knock him out. That is my job as a boxer and just as he is confident he can beat me in Australia then I am confident that I can do a job on Roy – with respect I aim to knock him out.”

This fight seems to put an end to the proposed re-match with currently ranked WBA#1 middleweight Mundine, which was given by Green as his main decision to return to the ring after retiring in 2008. When asked about this question Green stated, “Why do I need to fight Anthony Mundine when I have a chance to become a three weight world champion and fight a legend such as Roy Jones Jr.”

When Jones Jr was asked about his upcoming fight with Jeff Lacy he stated, “I am not going to underestimate Jeff Lacy and he is known for his left hook but Roy Jones is going to give him a boxing lesson in how to hook- I am the master of the hook and Lacy will receive a boxing lesson but I know that if I do not prepare, train or focus on the August fight then this proposed fight with Danny Green will not happen. The pressure is on both of us to deliver in August.”

Green added on the same point, “Roy is right. We both have to win our next fight before this proposal can happen. I am fighting a tough and rugged brawler in Dominguez and I must be at the top of my game. I have watched some tapes of him and he is a strong fighter and has a strong punch. It should be a good fight for the fans and a chance to show my boxing skills in the USA and win a world title at cruiserweight which will make me a three weight world champion from Australia.”

The venue for the proposed match with Jones jr was not revealed but Danny Green confirmed, “We are talking to a few venues at the moment and for such a big fight the capacity needs to fit all the fans who want to see this fight. Melbourne and Perth are two of the sites we are talking to but we will see how this pans out. I first need to win my fight in the USA on August 15th versus Dominguez.”

This match up has surprised many boxing observers across the world and should grow in interest in the coming months as the details unfold. There is no doubt that with exciting fighters such as Vic Darchynian, Michael Katsidis, Anthony Mundine and Danny Green that the sport of boxing in Australia is in its best shape for many years.

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