Disgrace Down Under

Australian boxing fans were tonight witness to Danny Green’s second bizarre 1st round knockout in as many fights. Paul Briggs somehow managed to survive for even less time than Roy Jones Jr., hitting the deck with two minutes and 31 seconds left in the first round.

Either Briggs took a dive that the entire Italian soccer team would be proud of, or he should never have been allowed near that ring.

Certainly the fact that Briggs came in three kilos overweight in the cruiserweight bout suggests that he didn’t take the fight seriously.

There’s not much to recap. By my count, each man threw two punches – so I guess we can cover them in detail. Briggs came out at the bell and threw a left hook, which bounced off Green’s gloves. Later, he pumped a fake/jab. Green threw two jabs, one to the body and the other (the “knockout punch”) that skimmed the top of Briggs’ head.

I’m more or less speechless and unable to say any more about the fight itself. What can be said? If there’s any justice, Briggs’ purse will be held. He had no business in that ring tonight. If nothing else, it was a vindication of the NSW Combat Sports Authority, whose decision that Briggs was unfit to fight forced the bout to be moved from Sydney to Perth.

The real loser is the Australian boxing fan/me. I wouldn’t blame any Aussie boxing fan for never watching another domestic fight again. Between Danny Green’s first round wonders and Anthony Mundine’s twelve round bumfights, there’s not much on offer.

To be fair, you could say that we’d come to see an execution… and the way that Briggs’ trainer, Billy Hussein, hugged him before the bell kind of confirmed that. But even at an execution, you expect to see a better undercard.

The two showcased fighters, Shane Cameron and lightweight Willie Kickett, won unanimous decisions that, to my eye, were much closer than the judges’ scorecards. Cameron sucked especially hard, landing almost no punches to beat Daniel Ammann in a heavyweight snoozer.

Cameron was in the ring with Green after the bell, as Briggs fled under a chorus of boos and a shower of beer. The expectation is that the two will meet somewhere down the line. Colour me not giving a fuck. Cameron lost to David Tua in no time, who in turn (more or less) lost to Monte Barrett on the weekend. Who cares?

At this point, Danny Green is beginning to equal compatriot Sakio Bika (super middleweight) as one of the most mismanaged fighters in the sport today. Australian boxing fans are beginning to hate him almost as much as Mundine.

Until such a time as Danny Geale fights a top middleweight, I won’t be bothering with Australian boxing – especially not on pay per view.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.