Danny Green forced to fend off fresh claims from Paul Briggs camp

Sunday, 25 July 2010

IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green has fended off claims from the trainer of felled challenger Paul Briggs that his team was aware that the Queenslander had his back to the wall financially and was unfit to fight when approached by Green Machine Promotions.

UNHAPPY CAMPERS: IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green (L) with trainer Angelo Hyder. Picture: Lincoln Baker Source: PerthNow

Billy Hussein, who led the Briggs' corner on Wednesday night as his long-time friend but first-time charge crumpled to the canvas in 19sec, said Green approached Briggs directly with an offer he could not refuse, luring the former world title challenger out of a three-and-a-half year layoff.

"They (the Green camp) rang Paul direct, they negotiated through Paul, they offered Paul the money," Hussein said.

"Paul called me and said: 'Billy, the deal's done, can you please help me prepare for this fight'.

"If it was my decision whether to take the fight or not, no, I would have said no, no . . . I'm not going to put a guy in there for the slaughter.

"He lives on a week-to-week basis, he hasn't got money, he's got no investments, he's got nothing to show for (his life in the ring).

"So when somebody offers you x amount of dollars and you've never earnt that money in your life, it doesn't matter who it is, you're going to go ching-ching.

"I wasn't going to let him go it alone - he could have gone with another trainer if I left him."

Green countered the claim, saying it was Briggs who approached the WA fighter's camp.

The under-siege fighter said that regardless of who approached whom Hussein had a responsibility to make any concerns known.

"Paul Briggs came straight to us," Green said. "But regardless of whether Paul Briggs said he'd go it alone or not, why didn't Billy Hussein contact me? Why didn't he tell me all the facts, then this whole situation would have been avoided - I would have called the fight off.

"Looking back now, I'm very sorry that it's ended this way."

Paul Briggs, Billy Hussein

ON THE FRONT FOOT: Felled boxer Paul Briggs (C) confers with trainer Billy Hussein at Challenge Stadium. Picture: Lincoln Baker
Source: PerthNow

Hussein said footage of an underdone Briggs sparring a fortnight out from the Green bout had been captured on a mobile phone and leaked to the internet and was the basis for the NSW Combat Sport Authority's withdrawal of support for the fight.

The trainer said the Green camp was aware of the video and was concerned for its upcoming opponent.

"That was the rumour (that led to the venue change), the footage that was leaked and I'm not going to lie to you: it wasn't good footage and everyone was saying: 'Nah, we can't have this'," Hussein said. "Angleo (Green's trainer Angelo Hyder) was concerned and he rang me and said:, 'Billy, mate, what's that video doing on (the internet) ... we've somehow got to get it off'.

"I said: 'Brother, how am I going to get it off? Don't go off that, mate, Paul Briggs is going well, don't worry'.

"They were concerned."

But Green said the Briggs camp's post-bout claims were vastly different to what was being advised throughout the fight's lead-up and the West Australian blasted the coach for neglecting his duty of care to the fighter.

"It's funny he says that because the day of the press conference Billy was saying to Angelo Hyder: 'You better beware because Paul Briggs has just knocked out two sparring partners and he's particularly heavy handed at this weight'," Green said.

"If Billy Hussein was so concerned about his fighter's welfare, why didn't he approach me? He has my phone number.

"If he told me just one of the things he's saying now, I would have called the fight off.

"Paul Briggs and his trainer have to take responsibility for their own actions.

"I don't have a crystal ball ... I'm just focusing on defeating an opponent who's coming to take my title who's personally, him and his team, talking up how great their chances are."

Hussein's calls come after the WA Professional Combat Sports Commission this week called for an inquiry into the fight to be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, following the discovery of a text message that circulated on the morning of the fight recommending bets be placed on a first round KO victory to Green.


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