Re: Good article that pretty much sums up Danny Green...Not our best...But he has "HE
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Danny Green celebrates on his brother Brendon's shoulders after defeating Shane Cameron. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: The Daily Telegraph
DANNY Green wouldn't make my list of the top dozen Australian boxers of all time, but if I was in the trenches and needed someone beside me he'd be the first one I'd pick.
Green has made a career out of being the quintessential Aussie bloke and whenever I think of him fighting I always picture a man in a slouch hat racing across a beach under shell fire never quite sure if he'll make it or not, but willing to give it his all trying.
As Green contemplates retirement this week and looks back at his achievements after his gutsy points decision over the bigger, stronger New Zealand heavyweight Shane Cameron in Melbourne on Wednesday night, two performances will stand out in his mind.
One was his career-defining first-round knockout of Roy Jones Jr when Green was a 5/1 underdog and considered past his best.
The second was his 11th round knockout loss against Poland's WBC cruiserweight champ Krzysztof Wlodarczyk when Green was ahead on points going into the penultimate round only to be Pole-axed by the big bald bully from Warsaw.
Strangely Green is equally as proud of both performances because they sum up the career of a fighting gambler willing to risk it all.
The five losses in Green's career - against Wlodarczyk, Anthony Mundine, German Markus Beyer (twice) and American Antonio Tarver mean he can never be mentioned as a great fighter when compared with the likes of Jimmy Carruthers, Lionel Rose, Kostya Tszyu or Jeff Fenech -- a fabulous foursome who for a time were clearly the best in the world at their weight.
Green's greatest night came when he bombed out Roy Jones in 122 seconds at Sydney's Acer Arena in 2009.
Jones had once been boxing's untouchable champion, a man so fast he made Muhammad Ali look pedestrian.
But by the time Green got his big mitts on him, Jones was damaged goods -- a month shy of his 41st birthday and already a big loser against Tarver, Joe Calzaghe and Glen Johnson.
If Green thought that win, as emphatic as it was, would catapult him into the elite of Australian boxing history he was wrong. Following a points decision over the capable, but hardly extraordinary American BJ Flores, Green was given a boxing lesson last year by the almost 43-year-old Antonio Tarver.
Tarver failed a steroid test after his next fight, but juiced up or not he went into the Green fight ancient and with two losses in his previous three starts.
It's not the win/loss ledger that made Green one of Australia's most popular fighters, but the sort of grit I first saw in the foyer of the Dorint Hotel at Bad Neuenahr, Germany the morning after he had been disqualified for headbutting in a fight he was easily winning against Beyer.
Green had been up all night trying to drown his sorrows with tears and beers and with his red eyes swollen from lack of sleep and sustained weeping, he had the very real fear that his $45,000 purse might be the biggest cheque his young family would ever see.
He promised that morning to fight back. And he never stopped battling.
Even when he had more than enough money to never fight again, he was still struggling to find his feet against Wlodarczyk last year though most of his senses had been crushed.
Everything, that is, except his fighting heart.