On March 21, 2004 at the Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia in a non-title affair, current interim WBC Super Middleweight Champion Danny Green, 18-1 (17 KO’s), won a hard fought unanimous decision over ten grueling rounds against teak-tough New Zealand veteran Sean Sullivan, 51-15 (22 KO’s).
The bout was fought in the trenches from the opening bell and by the second round the pattern of the fight had become obvious. With neither warrior prepared to give one inch, they traded head snapping uppercuts and energy sapping body shots at a furious pace.
Despite his size and reach advantages, 31 year-old Green opted to engage the 35 year-old New Zealander at close quarters. To his credit Sullivan never stopped throwing punches throughout the bout, but it was Green who landed the heavier artillery. The Jeff Fenech trained Green rocked the rugged Kiwi at various stages throughout the bout, but Sullivan displayed his defensive savvy to survive the rough patches and inevitably came back firing. At the end of the torrid ten rounds the scores were100-90, 100-89 and 100-88.
After the final bell sounded an exhausted Green returned to his corner and slumped on his stool, initially too fatigued to give the obligatory post fight interview. When he recovered enough to address his hometown fans, Green was clearly disappointed at being taken the distance for the first time in his career.
"My body just would not respond to the pressure Jeff wanted me to put on Sean Sullivan," Green told the partisan crowd and pay-per-view audience. "I did what Jeff wanted me to do, but it wasn't good enough. Sean Sullivan, you are an absolute warrior. All the respect to you, my friend."
Sullivan, a gentleman through and through, returned the compliment. "You're a worthy world champion and you should get all the recognition you deserve," he said.
Green collapsed in his dressing room after the bout and was taken to hospital suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion. He was diagnosed with a viral infection and spent three hours on a drip before discharging himself.
With the temperature outside hovering at 40 degrees Celsius and reportedly close to 50 degrees under the hot lights in centre ring, it's a wonder Green managed to survive to the final bell at all.
The fight was intended as something of a homecoming for West Australian native Green, who has not fought in Perth since winning the interim version of the WBC title by defeating Canadian Eric Lucas in December of last year.
This was the first time that Green has been extended past eight rounds since his battle with Paul Smallman back in April of 2002. With the win Green will now get the opportunity to avenge his disputed loss to German Markus Beyer for the WBC belt proper on June 5th.
In the main supporting bout unbeaten junior lightweight knockout artist Ben Cruz, 7-0 (6 KO’s), survived an early scare to gut out a twelve round decision victory over game Indonesian Untung Ortega. In the first round Cruz suffered a nasty cut above the left eye courtesy of an unintentional headbutt and was also dropped by a nicely time right hook. Sensing an upset, Ortega came out firing in the second stanza, landing some heavy punches to the still shaken Cruz. The Perth native survived the onslaught and turned the tide in the third round. By the fourth round Cruz had found his rhythm, boxing on his toes and landing some sharp punches. The corner showed great skill to prevent the cut from getting any worse and Cruz demonstrated great poise to comeback from early adversity. At the conclusion scores were118-109, 118-111 and 119-109. With the win Cruz claimed the PABA Super Featherweight Title
Interim Title. This was the first time the talented junior lightweight has been beyond five rounds.
Daniel 'The Rock' Dawson extended his unbeaten run to 13-0 (10 KO’s) with a fourth round stoppage of Victorian Nick Lundh in a scheduled twelve round bout. Dawson showed his class by breaking down Lundh with well timed shots and effective pressure. The victory garners Dawson the vacant PABA Light Middleweight Title.
Keeping up the family tradition of abbreviated ring appearances, Hussein
Hussein, 24-1 (18 KO’s), decked Dedek Chandra at the end of the second round of a scheduled ten round bout fought at the bantamweight limit. The Indonesian failed to come out to continue the battle in the third round. This was Hussein's first fight since his unsuccessful bid for the WBC flyweight belt against longtime champion Pongsaklek Wongjongkam.
Local favorite 'Big' Bob Mirovic, who scaled a massive 124.85kg, scored a third round TKO against 100.3kg Fijian Silovate Rasaku with a clubbing right hand to the top of the head at 0:34 of the round.
In an entertaining bout fought at a catch-weight, 2000 Tunisian Olympian Naoufel Ben Rabah made it two from three against 2000 Kenyan Olympian Fred Kinuthia with a shutout victory over six rounds. Rabah showed his continued improvement and a good variety of skills, switching from countering to attacking with ease. With the win Rabah moves to 16-1 (8 KO’s) while Kniuthia drops to 8-7 (5 KO’s).
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