Green wins with courage
What the hell happened?
Like the other 15,000 fight fans at Acer Arena last night, I’m still trying to work out how a tattooed knockabout - who nobody rated a chance – managed to knock Roy Jones Jr out.
Oh – and he did it in less time than it takes to brush your teeth.
I thought if I slept on it things would make more sense – but I’ve woken up twice as confused.
The records will show Danny Green floored the man once crowned the world’s best pound for pound fighter with a right hand to the head at two minutes and two seconds of the first round.
But they won’t show the torture Greeny put himself through to win this fight.
The brutal sparring sessions, the ice baths, the measly two medallions of salmon and broccoli that passes for his dinner after a day spent burning energy through pain most of us have never thought possible.
We all wanted him to win, but how many of us actually believed it would happen? Come on, be honest.
I thought it pretty unlikely. Go to Youtube, type in “roy jones jr” and “highlights” and you’ll see why.
When Jones sauntered towards the ring just after 10pm, flanked by enormous-breasted women in tasteful stars and stripes bikinis, he looked at peace.
His eyes were narrowed and he wore a little grin, perhaps thinking of how he might spend the $20m he was set to earn in his next fight against Bernard Hopkins.
If Jones was subdued, Green’s entrance was typically raucous. You’ve never met a prouder bogan than the Green Machine and he didn’t disappoint, fist-pumping his way to the ring to the strains of Down Under.
The fight started as expected, with Jones adopting that legendary rooster pose, where he leans forward and lets his left hand dangle at his side like a stroke victim.
He looks almost friendly in that casual stance, but dozens of the world’s best fighters have found out the hard way that it’s a trap.
Again, go to Youtube, type in “roy jones” and “james toney” and you’ll see why.
Green made it clear he was not going to fall for the old rooster trick though, keeping his distance and jabbing at the body with the aim of getting Jones to drop his hands so he could have a crack at his chin.
It went on like this for two minutes until the unthinkable happened.
Having backed Jones against the ropes with a raft of patient body shots, Green threw an overhand right that caught him on the top of the head.
Jones went down. We got to our feet, 15,000 lunatics suddenly shadowboxing in the aisles. Surely Jones had slipped. He hasn’t knocked him down, has he?
Green looked to his corner and seemed as confused as everybody else. Then Jones tried to get to his feet and floundered back onto the canvas, like a fish stranded on the bottom of a boat, trying to flop its way back into the ocean.
That was the beginning of the end. Referee Howard Foster moved in to check Jones’ vitals and bought him a few seconds, but the result was inevitable.
Sensing history, Green charged from his corner and unleashed a barrage of combinations. Jones had no choice but to stand there and cover up.
Green smashed upper-cuts through his defence until Foster came between them to stop it.
Jones looked embarrassed and Green seemed genuinely upset that he had effectively retired a living legend in such an ordinary way.
Typically, the talk in the foyer afterwards was that the fight ended too quick. “That was 50 bucks a minute!” one mate complained.
True, but it was a hell of a moment in Australia’s patchy boxing history and one of the rare occasions in sport when the sentimental favourite prevails.
The talk today is that a big pay day in the US is around the corner for Green, but he shouldn’t feel he has anything left to prove.
He certainly has nothing to prove to Anthony Mundine, who was last seen scouring pubs in Wollongong for opponents.
After the fight, Green said something you would never hear from Mundine.
“I know I’m not the greatest fighter that ever lived, but I just proved and solidified my legacy as one of the best ever in this country.”
Green knows his limits – but what he lacks in finesse and technique he makes up for with courage.
Even with an historic victory under his belt, you won’t see Green walking around in purple suits and pimp hats.
There will be no trip to Vegas – by way of celebration he plans to fly home to Perth and take his daughter Chloe to nippers on Sunday.
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