One week after Danny Green’s arm was raised in triumph at Adelaide Oval, Anthony Mundine’s team want to appeal the judge’s call to award Green the fight via a majority points decision.
The preliminary letter sent by the Mundine camp to the ANBF has listed almost 50 aspects of the bout, the refereeing and the judging that they aren’t happy about.
They are threatening, if they don’t get satisfaction via the Federation overturning the result and calling it a ‘no decision’, to take the matter to court.
Sadly, it a predictable end to the fight that was watched by a nationwide pay-per-view audience and 28,000 spectators. Mundine’s supporters are adamant that their fighter won the bout – that is their prerogative - but some have challenged me to explain how Green retained his cruiserweight title.
My personal belief is the fight should have been stopped in the first round when Green was floored by a foul. He suffered concussion and the doctor and referee who allowed for the bout to continue should be made to answer for their decision.
Nevertheless, the fight dragged on and this is it what I saw . . .
1. BITCH OR BRAVE?
Anthony Mundine: “Basically, he was being a bitch. I wanted to fight, to engage, and all he wanted to do was hold . . .”
The Counter-punch: Until the ninth round Mundine appeared reluctant to go toe-to-toe with the concussed Green, who was in ‘Disneyland’ for almost the entire bout after copping what Main Event commentator Ted Cofie, the former IBO world cruiserweight champion, described as a “cheap shot” in the opening minute of the grudge match.
Even though Green’s legs were like jelly and his eyes were glazed over during the second round as he tried to recover from the after-shocks of his head trauma, Mundine inexplicably remained out of cannon range. By doing so, he ignored the old boxing adage a fighter must be prepared to cop a blow to land one.
As the effect of Green’s concussion took hold it seemed as though he needed to do something to break Mundine’s rhythm, so he called upon hit ‘n hold tactics. While it wasn’t pretty, or how Green prepared for the bout, it certainly doesn’t make Green a ‘bitch’ . . . to the contrary, his effort allowed for him to retain his Australian Cruiserweight title.
Mundine’s apparent reluctance to go for the kill stunned Green’s camp. Their fighter fought through the fog of concussion for more than 29 minutes and, due to the state the foul left him in, he was ALWAYS vulnerable to being stopped by a heavy salvo of punches IF his opponent threw them.
Instead, as Mundine held off, the Western Australian piled on enough points through his stiff jab and by working Mundine’s body to win the first four rounds on each of the judge’s card.
Adding weight to the suggestion Mundine appeared reluctant to engage in a bombing raid was his reply to the call from his corner during the break between the eighth and ninth rounds to lift the tempo. Mundine can be heard telling his crew he was winning the fight; the interpretation being he was happy to avoid going toe-to-toe to win a close fight.
That appeared to frustrate at least one member of his corner, Roy Jones Snr – who guided his son to superstardom in America. Jones’s voice can be heard on Main Event’s coverage urging Mundine to take it to Green: “Quit throwing single punches – put something together and don’t wait. Quit waitin’.This is your fight, all you got to do is go get it.”
Perhaps Jones appreciated that as the challenger Mundine needed to do more to take the belt from the champion. Nevertheless, while he followed the advice and exchanged blows with Green in the ninth round, Mundine still failed to take the fight by the scruff of the neck.
Since the decision went against him Mundine has blamed the judges for his defeat and even suggested Green knows he didn’t win the bout, but in the cold light of day Mundine must appreciate that in circumstances that required him to charge in against an opponent incapacitated by what former champion Cofie dubbed a “cheap shot” . . . he stood back and waited.
2. PASSION AND PUSH
Mundine: “I did what I had to do. My passion got the better of me at times. I didn’t think I was going to back him up, but I was backing him up.”
The Counter-punch: Many observers believe Mundine’s “passion” should’ve resulted in him being disqualified in the first minute of the fight.
His clubbing Green flush on the side of the head FROM BEHIND when referee Frank Garza had pinned Green’s right arm after placing his hand between the pair while yelling to ‘let (Mundine) go’ went, at the very least, against the spirit of boxing.
Mundine unleashed the blow when Green – who is ironically campaigning against the coward punch, a blow that is launched in pubs and clubs by drunken thugs on an unsuspecting victim – turned to look at the referee as he separated them.
As I’ve already stated, that punch had a devastating impact on Green’s subsequent performance and it changed the complexion of the fight.
It has been written on any number of forums that Green paid for the mistake of not defending himself at all times – one of boxing’s most fundamental rules – but vision of the blow shows his arm is pinned by the referee as he pulls Green away.
While Green started the long-awaited rematch with a vicious intent, that shot rendered him vulnerable to a KO. Indeed, Mundine who started the fight cautiously grew in confidence as it became obvious Green was struggling to clear his head.
His surprise at pushing Green back (later in the bout) was the result of his opponent’s central nervous system ‘shutting down’ because of . . . you guessed it . . .the blow.
A former National Rugby League team’s trainer who was ringside at the fight said had it been a football match Green would’ve been dragged from the field and forbidden to play any further role in the game.
Dr Lou Lewis, who was ringside, has further validated the grit that was at the core of Green’s victory by telling the media the 43-year-old was ‘out of it’. He also admitted he unsuccessfully argued with his counterpart Dr John O’Neill to stop the fight.
“I thought it was disgusting,” Dr Lewis, who has been a ringside doctor for 40-years, told Newscorp of the decision for Green to fight on. He said he’ll lodge a complaint with the governing body that a fighter was permitted to continue in such a distressed state.
Green also was not given the five minutes under the rules to recover from the foul, despite the urging of his corner to the referee.
After the fight Green said the reason why he boxed on through the haze was because he would’ve preferred to finish his career flat on his back rather than winning via disqualification. It was, however, a decision that placed him at risk of an unnecessary serious injury.
3. JUDGING THE JUDGES
Mundine: “I whipped his arse for the second time 2-0. It ruins the credibility of the sport judging like this, officiating like this dampens a great sport, mate.”
The Counter-punch: Green couldn’t even hide his disbelief during his victory speech that Hubert Minn of Hawaii awarded him the fight 98-90.
However, Minn – who has adjudicated over 50 world title fights – was supported by fellow judge Steve Morrow in his ultimate decision to award the fight to Green.
South Australian judge Tony Ferrauto, the least experienced of the trio, believed Mundine didn’t do enough to win a tight fight by scoring it a draw.
That ensured Green won by a majority points decision, not the split-decision that that was erroneously mentioned in some reports.
The under-fire Minn has steadfastly maintained that regardless of the controversy about his score, Green definitely won the fight.
4. GREEN FOUGHT DIRTY
Mundine: “And then Green is allowed to hold and hit, hold, hold . . . it’s like I ran into an ambush, man”.
The Counter-punch: A review of the tape shows both gave as good as they copped. It was not a clean fight.
Despite his complaint about Green’s strong-arm tactics Mundine was also prepared to adopt bar-room brawl tactics - punching the back of the head, hitting Green when the referee was pulling him away, using his elbow - when it suited him.
5. SHAPING PUBLIC OPINION
Mundine: "Thirty thousand people [at Adelaide Oval] and most of the country tuned into that fight. Danny Green knows, in his heart of hearts, that he wasn't the victorious one. Thirty thousand people watching that fight, if they have any intelligence in boxing, know Mundine won that fight.”
The Counter-punch: Green entered the ring with the nation expecting him to win by KO.
The fact Mundine finished the fight on his feet surprised many and that, allied with the fight commentary failing to properly acknowledge that Green’s boxing on concussed impacted on his performance AND he was also landing scoring shots, has fuelled the notion in some (including members of the media) that Mundine won.
While talking up his performance by discussing such things as Green’s nose was bloodied, Mundine unintentionally acknowledged his opponent was in bad shape for most of the bout when he told journalists Green had a “secondary concussion”. That meant he’d managed to battle on despite taking two bad shots during the fight.
6. GREEN MUNDINE III
Mundine: "I know I won, [Green] knows I won and if [Green] wants some more, come get me."
The Reality: It won’t happen. The Mundine camp’s desire to overturn the decision could be a tactic to try to force a lucrative trilogy.
Green finished his career on February 3 by retaining the Australian Cruiserweight title.
- Daniel Lane, exclusively for Sportsta