Danny Green’s biggest fight yet
Danny Green has built his career on being able to throw some very powerful punches.
But nothing disgusts the world champion boxer more than "weak and scared" men who are responsible for coward punch attacks.
The Perth-based athlete has spearheaded a national campaign focusing on the issue for six years now, and today ups the ante with a series of emotive advertisements targeting Schoolies.
"Violence is ugly - and it makes you ugly too," Green told news.com.au. "That's the tagline of this next phase of our campaign."
And the champ is taking a series of emotive and powerful videos straight to the mobile phones of tens of thousands of young people.
From tomorrow, hordes of Queensland school-leavers will descend on hot spots like the Gold Coast, while West Australian grads will flood regular haunts like Rottnest Island from Sunday.
New South Wales and Victorian teenagers get their chance to blow off some steam after 12 years of study from November 24.
Over the course of three weeks, a total of 50,000 Schoolies will attend official celebrations across Australia.
And thanks to social media targeting, Green's videos will be at their finger tips on social media apps and websites.
"Most of these kids will be going out for the very first time, left to their own devices. There's a lot of pressure and expectation," Green said.
"I want them to see the videos and decide to walk away, grab their friends and walk away in situations like this. It's for guys and girls, who I hope see it and think, 'I don't want that to be me'."
The videos feature various scenarios where Schoolies are engaged in violent fights, with onlookers recording the scenes on their mobile phones. Repulsed by the ugliness, they swipe left across those responsible, removing them from the scene.
"You end up looking like an absolute scary idiot in front of everyone when you can't control yourself," Green said.
"Being seen that way by others is the last thing these kids want, particularly during a time that is supposed to be a highlight of their teenage years. You can be the best-looking person at the party, but your stupid actions can quickly make you the ugliest person in the room and your reputation will drop like a rock."
Green has two children - a 16-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son - who drive his passion to change attitudes and behaviours among young people.
"Like any father, I worry about the world they're growing up in. Having kids that will soon head out into the world on their own, it's terrifying," he said.
It's why he has poured considerable amounts of his own money and time into the campaign, which is entirely volunteer-led.
But it was the seemingly never-ending stream of stories of the heartbroken families of countless young men, killed in coward punch attacks over the years, that have rattled Green.
Thomas Kelly was just 18 when he was killed, after being hit from behind in Sydney's Kings Cross in 2012
Cole Miller was the same age in 2016 attacked by two men while heading home after a night out in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley. He died in hospital the next day.
"There have been so many instances," Green said.
"There are too many stories of people losing their lives. I hear from those families all too often. I've met young blokes who are totally incapacitated and require 24-hour care. I've gone to meet with families who've lost a son, a father, an uncle, whoever it may be."
Change won't happen overnight - he's aware of that. But Green felt compelled to lend his voice and profile to something that mattered.
"I'm a world champion fighter and I fight for a living, but I think this type of stuff is disgusting and unnecessary. That's the message I wanted to send, to reach out to youth - especially young males."
He was part of a cohort who united to change the language around these type of horrific acts of violence, which were once referred to as 'king hits'.
The language almost glorified blokes going out and hitting someone from behind, Green felt.
"You'd get those knobs down the pub boasting about king-hitting some poor bloke and I hated the term. There's nothing brave or tough about that. No one respects that. It now has the term it deserves - it's cowardly.
"Hitting someone, attacking them for no reason or little-to-no reason, when they're not aware, disgusts me. I think it disgusts 99.9 per cent of the population. But unfortunately, it's a very common act.
"I'm trying to make a difference and change the way youth conduct themselves. If they're thinking about doing something stupid, hopefully they stop for a second and think about being branded a coward for the rest of their lives."