WITH 16 years of simmering tension and one humiliating defeat on his back, Danny Green says he is looking forward to "punishing" arch rival Anthony Mundine at Adelaide Oval next Friday.
The iconic cricket ground was once the scene of the most ferocious day in cricket history when England's Harold Larwood bombarded the Australian side with a barrage of bouncers in 1933's "Bodyline" war.
Green vows that the intensity of that savage campaign will be nothing compared with the screamers he will launch at Mundine from both hands.
He says it's not so much a case of personal animosity but of professional pride.
"We've had a rivalry for 16 years. I don't think there's ever been a rivalry like this in Australian boxing and that's the motivation behind me wanting to win and win big," he said from his training base in Melbourne.
"I'm 43 now so this will probably be my last fight ever so what a way to go out with a big win over Anthony Mundine on Adelaide Oval, one of the most iconic sports stadiums in Australia.
"Boxing is my profession and I'm looking forward to punishing him. He can talk about his speed and skills but I know I will hit him eventually and it'll feel like a hammer in the face.
"Stopping Choc (Mundine) inside the distance would be very satisfying but I'm not buying into the fact that I'm a heavy favourite ($1.44 with UBET). I have a great respect for all my opponents, especially against a man who has already beaten me. He is a fierce competitor and a world-class fighter.
"It's not going to be an easy contest but I'm the better fighter. I've beaten better fighters than him, I'm tougher than him and I've got a better chin. I'm stronger and I punch harder."
Green was just as confident before their first fight at the Sydney Football Stadium in 2006 but he was outboxed before 30,000 people in the most lucrative fight ever held in Australia.
"Everything went wrong for me that night," Green said. "But I've learned a lot since then and my biggest wins have come since that defeat. That first fight was at 76kg and I wouldn't have bruised a grape that night. This fight is at 83kg and I'm a very powerful fighter at 83kg. Plus I'm a much better fighter now than I was in 2006."
This fight comes after a tidal wave of bad blood between the pair.
Mundine says Green is "arrogant and aloof" and calls him an "RSL fighter" and the "Kanye West of boxing". He has said that "I'm looking forward to butchering his (Green's) face and putting this to bed".
Green has promised that in this fight Mundine is "going to get smoked, smoked like a cigar".
Not that there was always such bitterness.
In 2001 I wrote the very first story suggesting that Green, fresh from the Sydney Olympics, should tackle Mundine, who had recently turned his back on a stellar rugby league career with St George-Illawarra to chase a world boxing title.
Back then Green said: "People are saying they'd love to see me fight Mundine.
"But I don't want to say anything negative about him. I think he is doing a great job in boxing and good luck to him.
"Anthony has done a lot to bring interest back to the fight game in this country and that's a great thing for every Australian boxer."
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