AUSTRALIAN BOXING TITLE BETWEEN TWO FORMER BJMA STUDENTS
BJMA's ‘New Rocky’ Kane Watts ready to take on Danny Green for Australian cruiserweight title
Danny Green as a teenager was trained by Rod Stroud (Western Australia); while Kane Watts also trained as a Kickboxer with Matt Ball (Somerville, Victoria).
On the advice of The Chief, Matt Ball allowed Kane to change camps and train with two good friends of the BJMA, veteran trainer Ray Giles and former Commonwealth Boxing Champion, Julian Holland.
HIS manager says it is a true “Rocky Balboa” story.
It’s a cliche line in boxing circles, but in the case of Victorian Kane Watts it probably rings true.
Watts, 34, is preparing for what he said is the biggest fight of his life — a showdown with Danny Green for the Australian cruiserweight title at Hisense Arena on Wednesday night.
Watts, from the Mornington Peninsula, is a plumber by trade and also part owns a gym, but he put all of that on hold once the match-up with Green was announced on June 8 to have a fully-professional preparation for a fight he knows could open up plenty of doors.
Boasting an 18-2 record, Watts is used to fighting in smaller venues such as The Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington and Shed 14 in Docklands.
But he has fought at Hisense before, on the undercard for Anthony Mundine’s fight with Sergey Rabchenko in 2014.
He said he felt like a “bit of a rock star” on that occasion, but being the main event this week is on a whole different level, especially given Watts said Green is a long-time idol of his.
The first fight Watts attended was the 2006 Mundine-Green showdown at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Whatever Watts does he can’t seem to help finding himself linked with two of Australian boxing’s biggest names, particularly considering the recent revelation that a long-anticipated rematch between Mundine and Green is set to take place soon.
Depending on who you talk to, there’s a school of thought the Green-Mundine showdown will take place regardless of what transpires at Hisense Arena.
But Green himself said a loss to Watts would put a “massive spanner in the works”.
Watts plans on doing just that and he doesn’t feel an added element of pressure just because of the Green-Mundine hype.
Watts, who did plenty of kickboxing as a youngster but was inspired to take up boxing by his late grandfather, Gordon, said he has always wanted to make boxing a fulltime pursuit but hasn’t been in a financial position to do so.
The last couple of months have consisted of yoga every morning, a boxing session six days a week, a strength and conditioning session four days a week, plenty of massages and plenty of recovery at the St Kilda Sea Baths.
It means that Watts himself doesn’t even know what he is capable this week of considering his 18 wins have come off half-cocked preparations.
“This is the first fight for my whole career where I’ve been able to take a back seat with work and really concentrate on boxing,” Watts said.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I didn’t want to have any regrets later on that I might have left a stone or two unturned.”
Watts has taken more out of his two losses than he has his wins.
When he fell to Oscar Siale in 2012 he realised he wasn’t doing anywhere near enough to get the most out of himself.
His only other defeat was when fighting for the Australian Cruiserweight Title in 2013.
In that fight against Daniel Ammann Watts broke his right hand in the third round, but didn’t tell his corner until afterwards because he knew they’d stop the fight.
The injury naturally hampered him that night and resulted in a massive missed opportunity — one he said was incredibly hard to bounce back from.
It only strengthens his resolve to not let this opportunity slip through his hands.
“This is the biggest fight I’ve ever had by far, we’ve been pretty lucky that we were picked up for this one,” he said.
“I think his trainer was at one of my last one or two fights and we didn’t have the best performances then.
“I think he might have looked at that and thought I was a bit of an easy target — but I’m not. I’ll certainly show him a different story on the night.”