THERE is nothing in particular that stands out about Kane Watts.
From his everyman look, to his all black ring attire. The full-time plumber and gym owner goes about his business with minimal fuss and does so in the most effective and simple manner possible.
However, on Wednesday night, the 34-year-old will trade the intimate Melbourne Pavilion for the bright lights of Hisense Arena, where he challenges three-division titleholder and heavily favoured boxing icon, Danny Green.
Watts (18-2, 11 KOs) and Green (34-5, 28 KOs) will collide for the vacant Australian cruiserweight title. Watts lifted the national title last August, splattering Emosi Solitua in three rounds, before vacating earlier in the year.
The title was later won by Aaron Russell in June, who then vacated to afford Watts and Green this opportunity.
Green, 43, has compiled an impressive professional resume, having fought in different countries and at the highest level. But his trophy cabinet, which already boasts WBC, WBA and IBO championships, lacks the Australian title.
When the offer came in June, Watts was more than happy to oblige and sign to fight Green.
“It’s a fight every fighter in Australia would be after,” said Watts to Aus-Boxing.
“I’m very excited and grateful to be able to get the opportunity.”
“The Australian title was always something I aimed for and I always have held in high regard,” he explained. “Something I would put in front of any regional titles. It was always something I wanted to stamp my name on,”
“Now this time Danny Green happens to be attached to it, so it adds a bit more shine to the title.”
“At the end of the day he is just another fighter in front of me,” he added. “I have the the upmost respect for anyone I’ve been against in the ring with. I’ll give him as much respect as I’ve given any of my past opponents.”
“But, he is standing in the way of something I want and something I am aiming for.”
Watts knows the opportunity that awaits him on Wednesday night. Green has fought just once in four years with his best days clearly behind him. Boxing is a brutal profession and the Melburnian admits that Green isn’t as sharp.
“He is not as sharp as he was back when he was in the world stage,” admitted Watts. “That comes with age and being inactive. You can’t be at that top level the whole way through your career if you’re not fighting regularly.”
“I just don’t think he is as sharp as he once was.”
Given the enormity of both the fight and the opportunity, it is understandable to see why Watts has essentially put his life on hold, becoming a full-time fighter for this camp as he prepares to spring an upset.
“I’ve made certain that fitness isn’t an issue going into this fight,” he said. “I’ve been lucky to take time off work and that’s something I haven’t been able to do for my whole career. My fitness has just come on leaps and bounds,”
“I basically just rolled straight into this preparation off my last camp. I had a solid seven weeks leading into my last fight, then had a week off and have I have been full tilt for the last eight to nine weeks.”
“I’ve been able to add a lot of extra stuff into this camp as well. I’ve had a lot more recovery sessions, a little bit of yoga which has helped my flexibility. I’ve also had a performance coach and also got a dietician on board.”
“So it’s been quiet a complex lead up compared to what I’ve done in the past. ”
“I really only started out fighting to have one or two fights,” he explained. “I just wanted to tell my mates that I’d had a couple of fights when I was around the footy club. I never would have thought that I would come this far.”
Being the hometown fighter, Watts has had the added intensive of putting on a performance in front of his friends and family. It’s often said that the everyday public loves an underdog, which couldn’t be more true here.
“The amount of support I’ve had, it’s been unbelievable,” he quipped. “Everyone getting is getting behind me. It’s been a very rewarding experience and it’s something that is egging me on to do well in the fight. I’m very grateful.”
Last week, Green made his intentions known – that if he successfully disposes of Watts on Wednesday night – he has a plan in place to face Anthony Mundine in a rematch of Australia’s highest ever grossing boxing match.
But true to his word, Watts plans on spoiling the party in devastating style.
“Win, lose or draw, that fight is going to go ahead,” concluded Watts. “But if Danny loses this fight – it’s just going to take the shine off it a bit – with both boys coming off losses. They are both well past their best.”
“I’m just ready now and looking forward to getting the job done,”
“It gets to this time before a fight that you get excited, I just want to get in there and get it on.”
Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images