He’s a decided underdog, but Allan Green hopes to turn the boxing world upside down.
Green, who fought many of his early matches at the Buffalo Run Casino, tackles undefeated World Boxing Association super middleweight champ Andre Ward in the last of the Group Stage 2 matches Saturday in the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
If Ward (21-0, 13 KOs) is victorious, he cinches a berth in the semi-finals and goes to the top of the leader board with four or, potentially, five points.
But if Green (29-1, 20 KOs) pulls off the upset, the tournament sponsored by Showtime becomes a six-man, three-fight shootout with countless possible scenarios heading into Group Stage 3 action.
"Andre Ward is a good young fighter," Green said in a Wednesday press conference in Oakland, Calif. — Ward’s home town. "He hasn’t lost since he was 12 or 13 years old. We understand that. We’re not minimizing him or undermining him in any way. There’s no need for me to get chuckling here today. I see children here.
"I see people here having a good time, but Saturday night I will be the WBA super middleweight champion. That’s what I came here for. I know what I can do."
This is Green’s debut in the tournament. He replaced Jermain Taylor, who lost his only match, being knocked out by Arthur Abraham.
Three of the other four fighters in the tournament favor Ward.
Carl Froch of England, goes against the trend, giving Green the edge.
"It’s too close to call, and in a close one, I always lean towards the puncher and Green is a big puncher and Ward isn’t,’’ Froch (26-1, 20 KOs) said in a Showtime press release. "The Americans are so pro Ward and Dirrell that I’d like Green to win. I think it would spice things up if he knocked Ward out."
Mikkel Kessler (43-2, 32 KOs) is picking Ward, but pulling for Green.
"I think this will be a great fight," Kessler said. "Every Super Six fight promises exciting action and their meeting will be no different. Having been in the ring with Ward, I know it will be very difficult for Green. I think Ward will be able to outsmart Green.
"My prediction is a points’ victory for him. However, I really hope Green wins. That would give me a great chance to win back my WBA belt. I really look forward to the fight."
Andre Dirrell (19-1, 13 KOs) respects Green, but feels Ward has more overall skills.
"Green is a dangerous fighter," Dirrell said, "but I'm eager to see what he brings to the tournament. Overall, I feel Ward is a smarter fighter and a better boxer who possesses more ring generalship. Ward is a faster puncher. He can wear down Green and possibly take him out."
Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs) predicts a win for Ward in a tight fight.
"I think Ward will win," Abraham said. "He looked very impressive against Mikkel Kessler. He is not the Olympic champion for nothing. He is experienced, technically very strong and tactically very good. I am really looking forward to this fight. Green will pose a threat, though.
“He is very strong and a powerful puncher. It will be a very interesting fight."