WA’s Danny Green regained his International Boxing Organisation cruiserweight title in gruelling style last night — then said he had gone into the scrap with two cracked ribs.
Green outpointed New Zealander Shane Cameron over 12 draining rounds at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena in a bruising fight that could have been held in a proverbial phone box.
Judges gave Green a unanimous decision, 119-109, 116-112 and 116-113, taking his record to 33 wins and five losses.
Afterwards the 39-year-old Perth fighter, who had a swollen right hand and a cut on his forehead, was giving away nothing over whether it would be his last outing, saying he just wanted to “get on the cans with the boys”.
But he was close to calling off the fight after picking up the injury in sparring and said Cameron added to the agony in the first round.
“Round one he broke my ribs,” Green said, his breathing clearly affected in the dressing room.
“Thirty-two days ago the fight was nearly off. I had cortisone, X-rays and my ribs are stuffed. And he broke them in round one.”
Green, who felt Cameron picked up on the injury, described the brawling fight as ‘old school’.” “It’s funny, when the bell went my tactic wasn’t to fight as much inside but I had the experience to be able to adapt and that’s what a veteran can do,” Green said.
“We out-hustled and out-muscled and out-belted a big man, No.9 in heavyweight.”
Green dismissed claims that his insistence the fight limit be set at 89kg, instead of the standard 90.7kg cruiserweight limit, was decisive.
“When I left to go to the venue tonight I was 86.1kg in my undies. Shane Cameron would have had to have been 95 — that’s nine kilos, it’s a big difference,” Green said.
“I don’t want to hear any more excuses about the weight. I battered a bigger man fair and square. And I’m so proud to become the first Australian to win four word titles.”
In front of a sell-out crowd of 7100, Green engaged in test of strength and came out on top. Referee Pat Russell did little to help the fight flow, allowing both men to grapple and lead with their heads.
The signs were bad for Cameron before the first bell, when instead of the New Zealand national anthem, the opening bars to The Kinks’ You Really Got Me was belted out over the speaker system.
After that, despite the occasional success with his jab, the Kiwi played second fiddle as Green’s greater ring craft told.