Danny Green successfully defended his lightly-regarded IBO cruiserweight title at home against BJ Flores, winning on unanimous scores of 117-112, 118-110 and 118-111. Bad Left Hook scored it 116-112 for Green.
Green (31-3, 27 KO) actually outboxed Flores (24-1-1, 15 KO) in a bit of a surprise, and was the better jabber despite giving up about seven inches of reach to the American challenger. Flores acted like he felt he'd won the fight when the final bell sounded, but in his interview only said he disagreed with the wideness of the scores, and congratulated Green for a fine performance.
Flores' downfall in the fight was really the usual for him, except this time he was facing a good fighter. He just wasn't active enough far too often. Green made a habit of backing himself to the ropes during the fight and all but daring Flores to come to him, and BJ generally just bounced around on the outside. Flores couldn't find a way to exploit his reach advantage, which was credit to Green for boxing perhaps the most technically sound fight of his professional career. BJ tried to get his jab working all night, but just couldn't get Green timed, and couldn't find the proper range.
For Green, it's really his best win as a cruiserweight. Where he goes next is a question that will be answered soon enough, I'd suppose, and it wouldn't surprise me if they matched him with New Zealand's Shane Cameron for a money bout at home. Green doesn't seem likely to leave Australia for a road fight, in part because he doesn't have to. He can make good money at home fighting non-contenders, shot former names, and fringe contenders. It would be interesting to see him try his luck against some of the other top cruiserweights, but realistically there's probably just not enough incentive for him to do that, and none of them are going to go to Australia to fight him, either.
As for Flores, hopefully he'll get a bit more active. He hadn't fought since August 2009, and that was against blown up and faded Epifanio Mendoza. Flores has the physical tools to be a serious player at cruiserweight, but time's a-wastin' for him. He's already 31 years old. It's probably too late to change who he is as a fighter, but there have been bigger surprises in boxing.
On the Undercard:
- Shane Cameron UD-12 Anthony McCracken. Official scores were 117-111 and 116-112 (twice) for the former heavyweight in his first official cruiserweight bout, but Bad Left Hook scored it a much closer 115-114 for Cameron, with an even first round. I had it even going into the final round, which Cameron clearly won, and I feel the right guy got the duke, so I'm not going to have fits about scoring. Cameron and McCracken put on a pretty damn good fight, plenty of action, plenty of good work from both, and plenty of defensive lapses. Cameron improves to 26-2 (20 KO) and is now in line to face Dominic Vea (13-2, 10 KO) for the Commonwealth title. McCracken (13-5, 5 KO) beat Vea by split decision in April, interestingly. Or maybe that's not that interesting to you.
- Steven Wills UD-6 Casey Gilmour. Welterweights in this one. Wills (15-0-2, 8 KO) put on constant pressure in this somewhat ugly, somewhat sloppy, at times a bit dirty fight, but it was another entertaining bout, which really can be said for all of the TV undercard. Gilmour falls to 7-4-3 (1 KO).
- Matt Garlett TKO-3 Quinton Donohue. Super featherweights, or "some little dudes!" if you prefer the local flavor of the commentary. Garlett had no trouble with Donohue, who went down twice in the second and bounced back up as quickly as he could, then was decked a final time in the third. Donohue (7-10-1, 3 KO) had spirit, but just got beaten up by Garlett (5-1, 4 KO).
- Mike Wilson UD-4 Jae Bryce. Another cruiserweight battle, this one with Wilson (5-0, 3 KO) coming over from Oregon and fighting on the card after sparring with Green for the main event. Wilson and Bryce (1-1, 0 KO) put on a pretty good show. Wilson suffered a bad cut in the fourth round, but came away from the doctor with about 40 seconds left and knocked Bryce down on a left hook, which sealed the deal.
- Sam Ah See TKO-1 Mhelvin Hernandez. Sam Ah See (3-0, 3 KO) is a junior middleweight and a touted Aussie amateur and had no trouble with Hernandez (1-12, 0 KO), who could barely be described as a professional boxer.