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Green win sets up Mundine rematch

AAP logoAAP 3/08/2016 Bruce Matthews

Danny Green completed the groundwork for a tantalising Anthony Mundine rematch with a hard-earned victory over Kane Watts to claim the vacant Australian cruiserweight title on Wednesday night.

Green didn't have time to keep an eye on arch rival Mundine sitting at ringside as he battled to beat Victorian plumber Kane Watts over 10 rounds at Melbourne's Hisense Arena.

The unanimous points decision clears the ring for a second Green-Mundine duel, 10 years after the first in Sydney, with the 15,000-seater Rod Laver Arena the potential venue.

Loud boos broke out when Green was reminded after the bout that Mundine was in the house. "Bring it on" was the West Australian's response.

"Choc (Mundine) has been a great athlete, I'm a great athlete. But we don't like each other," Green said to wild applause.

Green, beaten on points by Mundine in their super-middleweight bout at the Sydney Football Stadium in 2006, extended his career record to 35-5 and twice sent the gallant Watts to the canvas.

The 34-year-old Watts gave it his best shot, but he never really shook his older and more experienced foe.

Green gave Watts an early test of nerves by making the local favourite wait in the ring for more than five minutes before making his grand entrance.

Green, who started a $1.17 favourite, looked sharper in the opening round and Watts even had a tentative slip to one knee and the referee didn't apply a count.

The 43-year-old four-time world champion shook Watts with a left uppercut and a big right punch late in the second round.

But Green had a cut over the right eye from a head clash as he strode to his corner at the bell.

Blood streamed down the bridge of Green's nose early in the third round and was buoyed by the sight of his wounded foe, Watts produced a far more aggressive approach.

Watts was docked a point for slinging his opponent crudely into the ropes near the end of round five and Green's corner crew several times yelled at the referee to watch the man from Mornington's use of his head.

The referee applied an eight count on Watts after he was caught by a big right hand to the side of the head midway through the ninth round and sent to the canvas again in the final round.

Former AFL footballer Kayne Pettifer took another step forward in his fledgling pro career with a second victory in the opening fight on the undercard.

Pettifer, who played 113 games with Richmond, won a unanimous points decision against West Australian Paul Gould over three rounds in their light-heavyweight bout.

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