Danny Green grafted out a hard-fought win over Victorian hard man and full-time plumber, Kane Watts to claim the Australian Cruiserweight title and set the stage for a rematch with Anthony Mundine.
"That was heavy. Talk about pressure, it was like I was in a pressure valve, it was hard. There was so much expectation," Green said.
"Kane Watts is an animal. He's the fittest he's ever been."
Green was on the back foot early as Watts, who is nine years his junior, landed heavy blows in the second round, opening a cut on Green's forehead that would leak for the remainder of the fight.
Green fought back before tensions boiled over in fifth as Watts threw Green to the ground earning a point deduction.
Ultimately Green's experience and craftsmanship won out. His right hand wore Watts down, finding the mark in the eighth as a pair of vicious right hooks sent Watts to the canvas for consecutive eight counts. Watts survived and went the distance, the judges giving it to Green in a unanimous decision, 99-89, 99-89 and 98-89.
The win sets up a clean rematch with Anthony Mundine ten years after Mundine won their first bout in what was arguably the greatest grudge mate in Australian boxing.
"It took ten years to get to this…It's been a saga, it's been crazy we've had it going for 15 years," said Green after the fight.
"Credit to Choc, credit to him what he's done, he's raised the interest in the sport, he's a massive celebrity but he's gonna get smoked. He's gonna get smoked like a cigar," he told the crowd, which included his next opponent, Anthony 'Choc' Mundine.