When Danny Green steps into the square ring at the unlikely venue of Melbourne’s State Netball Centre on Sunday, he may well be facing the toughest challenge of his career – the fight to see if anybody still cares.

The last time most Crikey readers probably heard of The Green Machine was in last year’s much-hyped super-middleweight showdown with motor-mouthed Anthony Mundine.

Man v Machine was always going to have a big, big loser and it was Green who looked robotic and one-dimensional on the night, to lose on a clear points decision.

It seemed as though that was it for the Perth fighter, but Green has since stepped up to light heavyweight and TKOed a decent fighter in Jason DeLisle last September.

Green has also admitted (along with the usual “I’m not making excuses for the loss but …”) that he had to starve to make super middleweight against Mundine, and feels a lot more comfortable at light heavy.

All of which leads to the netball centre and a genuine opponent in Paul Murdoch (of the Geelong Murdochs, not the Sun King Murdochs), who fought gamely if unsuccessfully for the WBO light heavy world title last year in Germany against the magnificently-named Zsolt Erdei.

Green should still be a popular fighter, with his straight-up manner, Perth football background and a big heart, but reinventing himself as something other than “The Guy Who Lost” will take some work.

Green says he will only fight four or five more times before quitting at the end of next year. He hopes to get some shots at the alphabet soup versions of the light heavy world belt and he may well, given the champions probably also see him as a fighter who couldn’t go with Mundine.

Stepping listlessly into that massive fight against Mundine, after spending days in a hot bath to lose the necessary weight, might have been a great career move after all. But first he needs to beat Murdoch on Sunday night. And he needs to hear that pay-per-view did decent box office.

Both, at this stage, are vital.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey