Leading up to Saturday’s fight in Oakland, new comer to the Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament, Allan Green (20-1, 20 KO’s), made his first appearance facing the man favored by many to win it all in WBA titlist Andre Ward (21-0, 13 KO’s). In Ward’s hometown. No hometown fighters have lost yet in this tournament. But there would be no need for any hometown cooking in this one, since only one fighter showed up to fight and that was Andre Ward, who out boxed the slower, clinching and posing Allan Green for all of 12 rounds. Ward showed strategic poise, used his jab consistently and threw punches constantly, all while avoiding that occasional punch from Green. Green managed to land a few shots in spots but they were few and far between.
Once the fight began, there was that feel out process, where neither man did much, though Ward managed to land the only telling shots in the first round. As the rounds progressed, Ward was clearly the better boxer, always jabbing, then throwing combinations and making it a fight, while Green took nearly every opportunity to clinch and slow the pace. Midway into the fight, it was a shutout on my card and Green wasn’t changing any gears or making any adjustments or doing much of anything save for holdingconstantly.
This went on for 12 rounds, with Ward landing good shots and Green clinching and doing nearly nothing on offense. To Green’s credit, he took a beating and never went down. Though he was stunned a few times, he never appeared in danger of being knocked out. He’s either got a pretty good chin or Andre Ward doesn’t pack much power in his punch.
Between the rounds, Green’s corner never told their fighter what he needed to hear; that he was losing every round because of his lack of activity. Maybe Green should go back to fighting pedestrian level fighters, where he has a better chance at success. As his record suggested prior to this fight, Green is still very green. With a little work and a lot of enthusiasm, Green could have a better outing in his next fight.
The scores were unanimous: 120-108 all for Andre Ward.
When it was over Ward was gracious, complimenting Green for being a tough guythough Green didn’t win a single round.
During his post fight interview, Green said, “The hard training camp left me weak.” He then made some other excuses. That Green put on such a poor performance says a lot about the lack of talent at 168 or lack of scouting intelligence by the collective of promoters who put this tournament together.
Green was too green to even qualify to be in this tournament. I thought the same about Andre Ward’s selection initially, since he hadn’t faced a prime, top fighter until he was part of the Super Six Tournament. Ward did so well in dismantling Mikkel Kessler that regardless what anyone thought, this guy showed his qualification.
Green talked like a bully during the lead up to the fight, claiming that no one in the tournament could beat him, etc, etc. Green clearly didn’t have what it took to back up his words. Talk is cheap and Green will be dining on crow until he finds a way to redeem himself for such a lackluster performance that begs the question: Why Allan Green… instead of IBF Super Middleweight titlist Lucian Bute?
The Super Six would produce the only undisputed divisional Champion in all of boxing if Bute were part of it, since Bute owns the IBF version of the splintered up titles. Bute is a crafty boxer with sneaky power and good speed. His stamina could be his Achilles heel, since he was really knocked out by Librado Andrade in the final moments of the twelfth round in their first fight. But Bute redeemed himself by scoring a round four knockout of Andrade in their rematch a year later. Bute has scored two knockouts in his last two fights, demonstrating that he has good power to compliment his high quality boxing skills. Who wouldn’t want to see Bute put it all on the line against Ward, Abraham, Froch, Kessler or Dirrell?
Green’s performance was the least impressive of all the Super Six fighters so far. Worse than Dirrell’s first match, where he ran nervously from a rarely effective Carl Froch and slipped to the canvas numerous times from what looked like unsteady nerves. To his credit, Dirrell redeemed himself in his next match, against Arthur Abraham, where he manned up and out boxed the favorite for most of the rounds and won the fight when Abraham was disqualified after punching Dirrell while he was down (from a slip). Dirrell showed heart and comeuppance in his second fight.
Does anyone expect Green can do any better than he did against Ward? During the post fight interviews, Green made a big deal about going down to 166 pounds. Maybe he should move up to 175. Even though Ward is the current favorite to win the whole thing, Green was so bad in his debut that it might be fitting to swap his spot with someone more likely to be at least competitive. Names that come to mind are Librado Andrade and Kelly Pavlik. But more than anyone, Lucian Bute, the only major Super Middleweight title belt holder that’s not in the Super Six tournament should be the top consideration should Green be axed from the tournament. This tournament cannot produce an undisputed Champion if one of the top Super Middleweights is not even in the contest.
After two solid wins against Mikkel Kessler and a blowout over Allan Green, it looks like Andre Ward has the tools to win this tournament. He’s got all the attributes and ring smarts to find ways to win. Mostly he’s a good boxer, who hits without being hit. What he lacks in power, he makes up for with athleticism, good timing, size, reach and boxing skills that compliment his appetite to fight. Next up for Andre Ward is his friend and fellow contestant, Andre Dirrell. I see Ward winning that one by UD 12.