hit them again

A boxing tragic's look at the world of boxing. No hidden agendas, no cash for comment, just my opinion, for what it's worth, of the greatest sport there is. Oh yeah, and i can't fight for shit!

Monday, November 12, 2007


He might have faced off against Sylvester Stallone in Rocky Balboa but back in the real world Light Heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver wanted nothing to do with Aussie boxer Danny Green. After negotiations broke down for a title tilt at Tarver, Danny found himself with a better deal though, a WBA World Light Heavyweight title shot against former Paul Briggs victim Stipe Drews. And he gets to bring the fight home to Western Australia for Perth’s first ever World Title fight. I talked to the Green Machine as he prepared for the big day.

Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me Danny, how’s the training been going?

Pretty good. I’ve been training twice a day, six days a week. I usually have a six week preparation for a fight, I train for each and every fight like it’s a world title.
I don’t let myself go in my downtime, I’m only four or five kilos off weight whereas some guys, you know like Kostya Tszyu, will balloon up to in excess of twenty kilos over their fighting weight so it’s a long, arduous preparation to get in shape. I keep in shape 24/7 so it only takes me six weeks to reach my peak.

What about ring rust? You’ve only fought five rounds in the last year.

Well, time will tell come December 16th. We spar hundreds of rounds in the lead up so no I’m not concerned about it.

Are you disappointed that the fight with Antonio Tarver fell through?

Well, I’m fighting for the WBA light Heavyweight tile in my backyard in Perth and it’s a much bigger and more prestigious world title. The Tarver fight was an attraction because he was the opponent. But they absolutely stuffed us around, led us up the garden path for fourteen weeks. It’s crystal clear that Tarver had no intentions of ever fighting me. They kept moving the goal posts and changing the deal, chopping money, a fairly large amount of money off the top of the deal too, that we’d agreed to a month earlier so it was clear that Tarver was doing all in his power to get out of fighting me. But in the end it turns out I get the WBA world title fight in my backyard. It’s a much bigger and better fight for me so I’m very happy.

And what about your opponent Stipe Drews. Just how good is he?

He’s the WBA world Champion and a former European champion. They don’t just give world title belts out. He’s only been defeated once and he’s fought some very, very good opposition. He’s an awkward opponent but I’m relishing the chance of getting in there and winning the world title.

What’s next after the fight?

Well, two days later my wife is due to give birth so I’m hoping to be at the hospital waiting for my baby to come out and then when I wet the head hopefully I’ll be able to have a double celebration for the world title and the birth of my new baby. And I dare say I’ll tie on a fairly large one.

What about future fights? Any idea who’s next?

I’m concentrating just on winning the world title. I’m not going to put the horse before the cart. I won the super middleweight championship with the WBC and I want to become a two-division champion and win the WBA Light Heavyweight championship. I know what it takes to win a championship. In order to win it takes complete and utter focus on your upcoming opponent.
Against Stipe Drews I’m going to have to be extremely aggressive and not leave anything to chance. I never make bold or brash statements, that’s not my style but I’m confident that I have what it takes to defeat Drews.

You’ve had weight problems in the past. Is that all over now?

It’s no secret I struggled with my weight. When I’m off training I carry around 8% body fat and to go into a fight with less than 4%% body fat, you don’t have any reserves, you have no stores, you have no petrol in the tank. I’ve progressed into a natural light heavyweight. I was a super middleweight but I couldn’t make that weight anymore and I’m really happy because I can get up now and have breakfast.

There has been talk of a Mundine fight again in the future hasn’t there?

Yeah, obviously a rematch is something I want, I don’t like losing and I’d love to redeem myself. He (Mundine) started the ball rolling with a few quotes regarding me so I’d love to have a rematch and I’m more than happy to have that rematch as a world champion.

He’d have to come up in weight then?

Well mate I can’t make Supper Middle anymore, it’s unhealthy so yeah he’d have to come up.

What about boxing heroes? Do you have any?

I don’t have boxing heroes. I class the word hero in a totally different light than a lot of other people do. To me a hero is someone who’s dealt with tragedy or illness in their life and soldiered on. Or guys who go to work to put bread and butter on the table for their kids, going to a job they hate… for me that’s a hero. I’m blessed to earn a living doing something I love.

But in boxing, people I love watching, fighting and I guess just idolised growing up and now really respect, love their fights, their style of fighting were Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, Muhammad Ali, Diego Corrales.

You have a five year old daughter, Chloe...

Yeah she’s the apple of my eye, she’ll be six in February She’s everything to me, the older she gets the closer we get. She got in trouble at school for elbowing a little girl and I’m in Sydney training and she’s in Perth so I rang up and she said, “Dad, I tried to lean over to see a book that was being read at book time and a girl elbowed me in the stomach so I elbowed her back.” And I couldn’t really tell her off because I’ve always taught her to stick up for herself and defend herself. You know I don’t want my daughter growing up and thinking that someone is going to have it over her. And if push comes to shove I want my daughter to be able to handle herself but at the same time she is only five years old and she’s gotta realise that most of the kids don’t know how to react. In one way I couldn’t tell her off because just she did what I told her to but in another way I had to pull her back and tell her “well love next time give them one chance and warn them and then fight back if that’s the case or you walk away.”

Does she understand what you do for a living?

She does, but I don’t let her watch my fights. For a little girl who’s father is her idol, her hero it’s very distressing to watch him getting punched in the face. She knows I’m a boxer and we’ll be walking along the street and people ask for an autograph or a photo and she kind of wonders, “What are these people doing?” but she’s kind of got the drift now. And I don’t make a big deal of it or anything, I want to make sure she’s completely grounded in her life.

Well, thanks for talking to us. I talked to Sakio Bika just before he did The Contender and he won, so I’m hoping for two out of two.

Wasn’t that f***** fantastic? I’m just so rapt for Sakio and his family. He’s come from Cameroon, done it hard over there and then come here and he gave Calzaghe a hard fight and now he’s made a real name for himself in America on the Contender so I’m just rapt to bits for him. I wish every fighter could do that for their family unfortunately they can’t but when I see someone like Sakio succeeding it just brings a smile to my face, I’m rapt.

Thanks for talking to us Danny and good luck with the fight, we’ll be watching.

No worries. Now I know what I said too mate so I don’t want any wobbly bits slipped into the interview.

(and I hope I haven’t!)

Danny Green Faces off against Stipe Drews on December 16th in Perth. Screening in pubs and clubs and on main event. Check your Foxtel guide for details.

Danny Green’s record: 27 fights – 24 wins (22 by ko) 3 defeats

Stipe Drews’ record : 33 fights – 32 wins (13 by ko) 1 defeat


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