Tarver winds back the clock in stunning upset [video]
Antonio ‘The Magic Man’ Tarver pulled off the biggest upset of the year so far with a stunning knockout victory of IBO cruiserweight champion, Danny Green, at the Sydney Entertainment Centre tonight.
Tarver went into the fight a significant outsider in Australian betting markets, and most pre-fight predictions, including that of yours truly, felt Tarver no longer had the needed spark to prevail over local favourite, Danny Green.
The fight was delayed for some time, due to both camps calling in the IBO Commissioner, following protests over hand wraps and each fighter’s gloves.
It began as a cagey affair, with each man taking their time to feel each other out. Green was the busier early, and landed the cleaner blows. But he hit the canvas following a wrestle in the clinch, before a great shot from Tarver sent him against the ropes.
Tarver continued in the second by sending Green to the canvas, with a left rip to the midsection, which although not thrown with the greatest of force, caught Green off balance coming forward, and the referee put on a count.
Tarver continued to beat Green to the punch, with his iron jab continually scoring on a helpless Green. Tarver finished the fight by loading up a huge right hook that sailed high over the head of Green, but was a clear signal of intent. The Magic Man was feeling good.
Both men traded shots early in the third, but again Green had no answer to the Tarver jab, as Tarver continued to pick off the Australian as he was coming in.
Tarver, landed some solid combinations, with Green also scoring successfully to the body, but Tarver did enough to win the round.
Green showed no urgency in the fourth, despite being behind already by a significant margin. He then began to engage, and had his best period of the early rounds, by landing a good four punch combination, only for Tarver to answer straight back with four scoring punches of his own.
Tarver continued to score big time with the jab, as Green looked as if there was simply no plan B.
Tarver continued to dictate the pace, in a fight that was fast slipping away from Green.
The fifth saw Tarver again waste little time maintaining the distance with that jab, as Green began going to the body. Green landed some good body shots that seemed to shorten Tarver.
Green continued to have a good period, and was warned for a low blow as he continued at the body. An even round, which the judges may have shaded to Green due to work rate.
The sixth saw Tarver land a big uppercut that buckled Green, and saw Tarver tear back the momentum, just as it looked Green was starting to build.
Tarver scored a good left hand, only for Green to again get some rewards from going to Tarver’s body. Green then began backing off, trying to entice Tarver into an exchange, but this manoeuvre did not work on the wily 42 year old, who took up the advantage by landing several shots that were perhaps enough to pinch the round.
Tarver had seemed to slow as Green’s work to the body had increased. Green started the seventh sending four shots to the midsection that again shortened Tarver, and brought the crowd back into the fight.
Tarver was now looking to clinch, and wanting to get into a wrestle, to prevent Green from continuing his good work in the round. Green landed some good shots, and it was by far Green’s best round, as the crowd rose to their feet, sensing something special.
In the eighth Green landed a big uppercut that buckled Tarver, and continued to slow him with work to the body.
Both men engaged, and went toe to toe with a series of punches, which had both men hurt.
Green had begun to start to get inside Tarver’s jab as he slowed and land some good shots. Tarver seemed reluctant to match his work-rate, leaving many wondering if he could make the distance, if Green continued to press the pace.
Just as the thought occurred, Tarver landed with a five-punch flurry that may have just pinched the eighth.
Any doubt I had regarding Tarver’s engine slowing was dispelled in the ninth. Green needed to force the fight, and in his haste, he walked into a short hook from Tarver that set him back on his heels.
Green answered back with more body work, but was again warned for a low blow. Tarver’s jab, as it had been all fight, continued to score easily, and leave Green helpless.
A left hand from Tarver buckled Green, who was sent against the ropes, only for another big shot to have Green ready to go.
Green through desperation threw a flurry downstairs, only for Tarver to buckle him again, and Green was ready to go.
Sensing this, Tarver rained down fifteen unanswered punches as the bell sounded to end the eighth. Green was in a world of trouble and if not for the ropes would have been down.
Green did not know where he was and went to the wrong corner, before embracing Tarver as if it were the end of the fight.
Seeing this, Green’s trainer Angelo Hyder had no hesitation in sending in the towel, and the crowd, along with this boxing writer, was stunned.
Danny Green was simply outboxed by a superior boxer, and he continually had no answer for Tarver’s jab. Tarver managed to keep Green at a distance, and while frustrated Green would time and time again come forward straight into Tarver’s jab.
The pre-fight taunts from Tarver’s camp suggested Green fought a primitive style. Green did nothing but back up those claims tonight.
Danny Green again showed a deficiency against a southpaw, with Green now having been beaten comfortably by both Tarver and former WBC super-middleweight champion Markus Beyer in world title fights.
Post-fight, Tarver thanked the Sydney crowd for making he and his team so welcome, and suggested he may be back for a rematch.
Tarver also dedicated his performance and world title to former Showtime colleague, Nick Charles.
Danny Green on the other hand was inconsolable in the ring and wept as he spoke. The crowd showed great appreciation with Green telling them “Sorry I couldn’t do it for you guys, and I let you all down”.
Green showed flashes of what he was capable of, and had moments where Tarver seemed to be hurt. But he had no answer for the granite jab of Tarver, and Tarver simply out-boxed, out-thought and out-manoeuvred the champion.
Tarver becomes the first man to stop Danny Green in 32 fights.
At age 42, and after just one fight in eighteen months, Antonio Tarver stands atop the boxing world again, and with a puff of smoke, The Magic Man made the doubters disappear.
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