By Michael Cowley
Fight time will be on February 3, at the Adelaide Oval, when the rematch Australian boxing has been eagerly anticipating for more than a decade, finally arrives – Danny Green versus long-standing rival Anthony Mundine.
The pair first met in May 2006 in front of more than 34,000 at the Sydney Football Stadium, and Mundine was a unanimous points winner.
“I’ll be honest I didn’t think we would fight in a stadium again, and I’ve got to say – with all respect to the Sydney Football Stadium – this stadium is far superior. It doesn’t compare. This joint is just amazing,” said Green.
It’s a journey trekked by many a footballer and cricketer through time. That special trip when the nerves are tingling and adrenalin surges through the veins.
It’s a walk Danny Green is already contemplating.
“Oh man, Adelaide Oval … I saw it for the first time at the press conference (in October), and it’s out of this world,” Green said.
“To walk out of the change rooms, up the tunnel the way the players would, walking on the ground. To know I’ve got to walk past thousands of people, to then get in that ring, and light it up … with hardly anyone here today to make that walk was very exciting. Come fight time it’s going to be incredible.”
It’s anticipated the bout will attract a crowd oftens of thousands, with a chance it will become Australia’s biggest boxing crowd, surpassing the 38,000 who watched Jeff Fenech and Azumah Nelson at Princes Park in Melbourne in 1992.
Tickets range from $25.50 right up to $10,195 for a table of 10.
Green revealed he spent six years growing up in Adelaide from the age of two to eight, and has “some very fond childhood memories.”
“The excitement by the time the fight week rolls around, I think the place will be buzzing and we want to make this place go off. The people of Adelaide have already shown me such great hospitality and a lot of love, and I can’t wait to put on a great show and be victorious and show my best in front of these amazing supporters of Adelaide.”
“It’s a fantastic place and it’s beautiful to be spending some time here with some very approachable and friendly people. It’s a great city.”
A decade is a long time, but Green never doubted this rematch would come.
“I just had to be patient and persistent,” he said. “As a prize fighter you fight for one thing and that’s the biggest prize out there, and this is the biggest prize out there for both of us, so it was inevitable.”
Added Mundine: “The people have been asking for it and I think it’s time now to prove to Danny once and for all that I am the man. He had excuses the first time we fought and I’m sure he will find more excuses when I finish him again this time around.”
Green has had a decorated career, punctuated by world title victories. But this fight and this rivalry, also holds a special place on his boxing resume.
“I’ve been to Olympic Games and fought all over the world as an amateur. When you turn pro your aim, your goal, your dream is to leave a mark on the world of boxing and you want to have you name known in boxing circles worldwide. So to become a world champion and beat world champions and lose to world champions, and to know that fighters in gyms all around the world know who you are, that’s very special and important to me.
“This may not be as big on the world stage but it’s massive here, so to be fighting at Adelaide Oval, on such a huge stage, we know it’s going to go crazy when the fight happens because it’s been such a long standing, 15 year rivalry, and it means a hell of a lot to both of us.
“He’s a fierce competitor and he’ll be the best he’s going to be, and so will I.
“The reason this fight is going to be exciting is because it’s a real fight.
“I’m absolutely pumped and it is going to be a very very nice way to be able to finish my career with a victory over Mundine at a packed Adelaide Oval … what a beautiful way to go out.”
Danny Green and Anthony Mundine will face off at Adelaide Oval on February 3rd, 2017. Tickets are available here.