Danny Green Interview: Where To For The Aussie Slugger?
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Danny Green Interview: Where To For The Aussie Slugger?
By Daniel Smart, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 20, 2013)

Danny Green
Danny Green
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I recently had the good fortune to catch up with four-time, three division world boxing champion, Danny "The Green Machine" Green to talk all things boxing. Green elaborates on his magnificent career in the ring, his recent decision to vacate his IBO Cruiserweight world title, and what the future holds for the 40 year-old Aussie slugger.

Danny Green is a relaxed character. A gentleman, who is respectful and engaging. Known for his wacky sense of humour and his demon like work ethic, the hardnosed Australian informs me during the interview that he has just decided to vacate his world cruiserweight title in what was a very tough decision.

“It was a tough decision to make, very tough, but I have fought all over the world in World Title bouts from Montreal, America, to twice in Germany, and many all over my great country, nine years in World Championship bouts, and after getting my World Title back against Cameron last year, it is going to have to be a fight that I really want that is going to excite me,” he says. “I have put it all on the line on many occasions, and to risk finishing on a high as World Champ, then it's going to have to really stack up. It's no secret I'm nearing the end of my fighting career inside the ropes, so if a bout comes up that I want to take, then I will. I smile at people being critical, it's obvious they're unhappy. I have earned the right to make my own decisions. I risked my house and money and health by promoting my own fights, so therefore I call the shots.”

It is a point that has a lot of merit. Green is now 40 years of age, has done the hard yards, won four world titles in three different weight divisions and has earnt the right to call the shots in his career. He himself puts up the money for his promotions, not a group of investors or business people that is generally the case with a lot of world champion prize fighters. Green mortgaged his house for the Roy Jones Jr fight and had to deposit over $2 million of his own money into a Roy Jones Jr account 2 months before the fight back in 2009. Very high risk in this day and age. Looking for a name and a payday toward the end of any successful fighter’s career makes perfect sense, especially bankrolling your own promotions. “People are quick to forget that Roy was coming off a five win out of six streak, that included Felix Trinidad and the bout before ours, he made Jeff Lacy look very ordinary in a scintillating display. People thought I was in over my head. I was 5/1 underdog when the bell rang. I put him away in one, he then goes on to go the distance with Hopkins and nearly defeats the Russian kid Denis Lebedev. Next day Australia-wide it was front page news. Pretty special moment mate.”

Green also elaborates on his early days in the sport. The sacrifices he made by leaving his family and his then girlfriend, now wife, Nina and the fact he travelled over 4000 kms from his hometown of Perth bound for Sydney with nothing more than a few essentials such as a microwave oven and other household items stacked in his car that was on a train bound eastward.

"I always dreamed of winning a world title. I was always of the mindset that if it didn't work out, I could try and earn $40-50k fighting, then come back to Perth and put a deposit on a house, and go back to being a carpenter. I worked very hard to achieve my dream. Thank Christ I could fight because you wouldn't want me building your house, it would blow over in a mild storm, I was pretty shit at that!" said the notoriously cheeky Green.

Green also spoke of his living arrangements when moving to Sydney. Sharing a unit with legendary multiple world champion, Vic Darchinyan, Green had very high praise for Darchinyan, although not so much on the "The Raging Bull's" culinary skills!

"I remember knocking on the door and Vic answered. He asked to take my bags and I told him not to bother. He snatched them from my grasp and demanded I sit down. He asks in broken English "You eat?" I just replied by saying I was OK. He then said "You sit, I cook". He grabbed this steak from the freezer and whacked some chips in the oven, by the time it got to the plate it was nothing short of roadkill! I ate every mouthful because I wasn't going to argue with Vic!"

Green has had some magic moments in his decorated career. A WBC super middleweight world title demolition of Eric Lucas in Lucas' hometown of Montreal, capturing the WBA light heavy title from Croatia's Stipe Drews, mega fights with Anthony Mundine, Roy Jones Jr, and Antonio Tarver, and a savage KO loss to WBC Cruiser champ Krzysztof Wlodarczyk after dominating for 11 rounds. More recently, regaining his IBO cruiserweight title after a 12 round war with the naturally much bigger, Shane Cameron of New Zealand. What was amazing to note, was that Cameron at the time was ranked in the top 10 at Heavyweight by the WBO and had at least a 10-12 kg advantage on Green at fight time.

There have also been downs in his career to. Green v Bayer I for the WBC super middleweight title in Germany in August of 2003 was an absolute disgrace. Green was dominating the fight and opened not a cut, but a gash over Bayer's eye with a clear and concise punch only for it to be called an accidental headbutt. It then went from being called accidental to intentional by the officials after Green worsened it by with jabs and right hands, only for Green to be then disqualified. To his credit, Green remained philosophical and went on to capture 4 world titles, a testament to the man's character.

When asked if there was one moment that stood out, I was expecting Green to mention his 1st round KO of legend Roy Jones Jr. What I got was this…

"Of course Roy is a standout, but I will always have fond memories of my first pay-per-view fight way back in 2003 against the rugged Jason DeLisle in Sydney. He beat me in the amateurs and was having a good run in the pros with a solid following from his area in Maroubra, and I was bowling everyone over by KO and it had been on the cards for a while. I was looking to square up, he was looking for revenge for me winning the Olympic Trials selection where I won the tournament by knocking out his victor from Samoa, so it was all geared up.

“I put him away in five after dropping him three times, but he rung my bell a few times before that and we gave the audience what they paid for. We fought again three years later at light heavy, I won by KO in round 9 after a real good brawl, broke his nose, a few ribs, shut his eye and he needed nine staples to hold his forehead together! He kept me very honest and again rung my bell in round 8, and we pit on another ripper stink. Two nights later we went to dinner together looking a bit rough, ate an entree and drank 20 beers each then went home , not before hugging and telling each other how much we llllooovvveeeddd each other, hahahaha, brilliant memories.”

Green's popularity in his home country is remarkable. He regularly reaches out to his Twitter and Facebook followers (an amazing 310,000 of them!) on a regular basis and is always up for a chat when not busy. It is this type of humble, down to earth persona that the average Australian identifies with and loves. It is this that has propelled him to super stardom.

Danny Green...the carpenter, the world champion, the husband and father, the son, the surfer, the comedian and the humble Aussie battler next door that his country adores.

In the catch cry of the man himself "THANKS LEGENDS".

No Danny... thank YOU legend.

Your contribution to the sport and to your country will always and continue to be remembered. Look forward to seeing you back in the ring soon.

Follow Danny on Twitter @dannygreenboxer or on Facebook.

Questions? Comments? Contact Daniel Smart: bellebelle78@yahoo.com.au
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