CHOC?S CHEER SQUAD
By EMMA CORNFORD
A LIGHT breeze blew dust across Baryulgil's empty town square yesterday, replacing the punching bag and athletic pugilists that were there just days ago.
Even the streets were deserted, as tens of local Anthony Mundine fans headed to Sydney to watch what has been dubbed as the biggest fight in Australian boxing history ? Anthony 'Choc' Mundine versus Danny Green.
Mundine spent two weeks on the north coast to get in shape for tonight's WBA super-middleweight fight.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mundine spent one week at Russell Crowe's Nana Glen property. But the rest of the time, he was in Baryulgil and as a result, has become a local hero to the children and residents.
A handful of students from Baryulgil Public School have even made the journey south to watch the fight with their parents, and a show of hands proved that those who remained behind were all quite confident Mundine would win the bout.
"I'm going to watch it on TV at my house out here (but) my Dad's gone to Sydney to watch it. He went two days ago. He knows (Mundine) so he wanted to go and support him," said school captain Zeminda Donnelly, 9.
"Yep, I think he'll win. I don't go for Danny Green."
The boxing ring Mundine used for training at Baryulgil ? the same ring used during the filming of Crowe's movie Cinderella Man ? was only recently dismantled, but the children remember watching their hero train.
"Yep, we used to see him lots. We'd see him over there in the ring," said Mikhaila Walker, 8, as she pointed towards where it used to be.
"Yeah, it was exciting. Once we all went over there and saw him."
Wille Gordon, 7, also watched Mundine train. He thinks one day he might think about becoming a boxer.
"Maybe. We're going to watch the fight. It will be good I think," he said.
While it will cost $49.95 to get the Mundine vs Green bout shown in the comfort of your own home, Clarence Valley punters keen to catch the showdown tonight will have a selection of venues to choose from.
The fight is being shown in Grafton, Maclean and Yamba, with club managers predicting big turnouts.
"I think it'll be bigger than Ben Hur," said GDSC general manager, Arthur Lysaught. "With Tony being born locally I think it's created a lot of interest ... and I think there will be a divided crowd here with people cheering for both of them."
Yamba Bowling Club chief executive officer Jon McGregor said he also expected a large crowd, but was reluctant to predict who he thought would claim the bout.
The telecast will begin at 5pm with the undercard bouts, and is being shown at the Grafton District Services Club, Yamba Bowling Club, Yamba Shores Tavern and the Maclean Bowling Club.