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Written by Ian Wallwork

Andrzej Fonfara's conscience felt as heavy as his fists. He'd just spent the afternoon sparring with Australian cruiserweight and three-time world champion Danny Green, but now he was about to betray the man who had given him a great opportunity. He got home that night and switched on a lamp, giving his apartment a dull glow. Taking out his cipher machine, he began to send messages back to Piaseczno, Poland, where Krzysztof Wlodarczyk waited. Wlodarczyk was Danny Green's next opponent, and he would be glad to receive the intelligence that Fonfara's espionage efforts gave him.

At least, that's what the Australian press want you to think.

The press down under were sent into overdrive a few weeks ago when the story broke that their beloved ex-world champion, Danny Green, had been spied upon by Andrzej Fonfara, a man Green had brought in to help him spar. It was a you-scratch-my back agreement, with Green getting trained and Fonfara getting attention in a boxing star's gym, but Fonfara was reportedly scratching Wlodarczyk 's back as well.

In truth, there are no facts to support the claim that Fonfara was spying on the Australian's moves. Reading the sources who reported on it, it seems the only evidence to suggest Fonfara was playing James Bond is the fact that Fonfara and Wlodarczyk are both Polish. It is all very paranoid.

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: John le CarrĂ©'s book about a Polish boxer who spies on his sparring partner

Danny Green's Biggest Fight Yet

Danny Green has fought Antonio Tarver, a ninth round loss, and Roy Jones Jr, a first round knockout win, but he counts his upcoming bout with Wlodarczyk as his hardest yet:
“This is the toughest fight of my career, without a doubt the hardest opponent I’m going to have to face."
Whether this is just pre-fight build up or not, what Green says is true. Wlodarczyk, better known under the wholesome moniker 'Diablo', is a two-time world Champion who launches missiles from his fists.

In an eleven year career he has beaten forty-five opponents, with two thirds of these victories coming by knockout. He has beaten and been beaten by Steve Cunningham in a two match cruiserweight rivalry and last year he scored a TKO over Giacobbe Fragomeni to capture the WBC Cruiserweight title. Danny Green is fearful of him:
"He’s a bit crazy, there’s a few screws loose upstairs… he’s got power in both hands, he’s never been dropped, the complete package and he’s probably the most relentless fighter I’ve ever faced.”
'A few screws loose upstairs' may be insensitive considering the mental problems Wlodarczyk supposedly suffers. Earlier this year the Polish fighter was rushed to hospital having overdosed on sleeping pills, sparking talk of a suicide attempt. The official line is that Wlodarczyk got his dose wrong and consumed too many pills by accident. That is some wrong dosage.

Despite this, Wlodarczyk has been declared fit to fight and is in the condition of his career. Green seems to be wary of his Polish opponent, so we need to ask ourselves a question. Getting back to the espionage claims, I want to know:

Would Wlodarczyk even need a spy in the camp?

The answer is no - he doesn't need an insider reporting on how Green spars, and even if he did, it would tell him nothing. Sparring in the gym is different to fighting on the night; it is like looking at a bunch of ingredients and declaring them the finished meal.

Danny Green sees Wlodarczyk as the toughest fight of his career
How to Deal With a Spy

In 1994, CIA agent Aldrich Ames was exposed as a traitor - he had been working as a double agent for the KGB. For years Ames played back-stabber, causing the deaths of several CIA agents and helping the Soviets poke holes in US intelligence. Ames was eventually caught when CIA chiefs became suspicious of his half a million-dollar house and $50000 Jaguar - he drew an annual salary of $60000. Ames was caught, tried and sentenced to a lifetime in prison.

Luckily for Andrzej Fonfara, even if he is a spy he won't suffer the same fate. The most he could get would be a telling off and a letter to his mother, so little does this matter. The claim has of course reached Danny Green's ears but he doesn't seem to care much either. He interrogated Fonfara to get the truth, but Fonfara was a dog that wouldn't bark.

Green said of their talk:
"I always expected him to say there was nothing going on....It was the perfect Eastern European stare, I couldn’t read anything from it at all".
We will probably never find out whether Fonfara actually spied on Green or not. Objectively, it all seems pointless and far-fetched. With his fight only a day away, Green has bigger things to worry about now. It is time to settle matters in the ring.