Allan Green, who made a name for himself at the Buffalo Run Casino, is at the crossroads in his professional boxing career.
He battles WBC Super Middleweight champ Andre Ward in a Super Six World Boxing Classic Group Stage 2 fight Saturday night on Showtime from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
This is the tournament debut for Green (29-1, 20 KOs), who replaced Jermain Taylor.
Green thought he should have been in the mix all along.
Arthur Abraham knocked out Taylor in a preliminary round fight in the tournament, his fourth straight KO loss.
Taylor dropped out of the tournament in January.
Others in the field include Abraham, Andre Dirrell, Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler.
ďI didnít understand Jermain Taylor getting into the tournament,Ē Green said during a Tuesday teleconference promoting the fight. ďNo offense against Jermain but we fought on the same show and I won my fight and he lost his fight. I got pushed back to ShoBox and he got put into the tournament. Thatís what I didnít understand.Ē
Greenís manager early in his career was former Miamian Tony Holden. They ended a four-year partnership in November 2008.
Seven of his fights were at Buffalo Run, including six from Nov. 17, 2004 to April 26, 2006.
The most memorable one was that 18-second, first round demolition of Jaydon Codrington in a scheduled eight-rounder on Nov. 4, 2005 that was televised by Showtime.
Ring Magazine judged it the knockout of the year.
†This will be just the fifth fight ó 19 total rounds ó for Green since knocking out Sherman Davis in the second round of a scheduled 10-rounder here on Oct. 19, 2007.
By comparison, Ward has fought 56 rounds, including an 11-round technical decision over Kessler in their Super Six opener.
Abraham is 1-1 in the tournament but has three points. Dirrell (1-1) Froch (1-1), Ward (1-0) and Kessler (1-1) all have two points.
Green ó now managed by Lou DiBella ó has zero points.
ďIím not coming into this tournament thinking about points,Ē he said. ďIím thinking about victories. With victories come points. I donít want to put any more pressure on myself than I already have. The only points Iím worried about are the points in the fight. And thatís up to the judges. So I canít worry about that.
ďI canít put pressure on myself like that.Ē
Ward battered Kessler and the fight was stopped in the 11th round due to cuts on Kesslerís face caused by what was deemed unintentional head butts by Ward.
ďI think people who saw the fight know that I was ahead in that fight and there was no reason for me to intentionally start using my head,Ē Ward said. ďI donít know how to intentionally use my head and not be cut. If Iím up 10 rounds to nothing why would I start intentionally head butting? It doesnít make any sense.†
ďOn the websites and on the message boards, people need something to talk about so I guess this is just something they want to talk about.Ē
ďAndre looked great against Kessler but Iím not Kessler,Ē Green said. ďMikkel Kessler really couldnít deal with a lot of things that Andre was doing. Iím slick guy and Iím a sharp guy. Iíll fight however my opponent wants to fight. If I have to be slick, Iíll be slick. If I have to box I will box. If I have to brawl Iíll brawl.
ďI expect a thinking match. I canít give my game plan. Andre is not the easiest guy to fight with his style but I understand how to fight him because I fought a lot of those guys in the amateurs. I understand his style.Ē
This is a ďhome gameĒ for Ward, who was born in San Francisco.
ďItís a huge deal for me to be fighting in Oakland,Ē said Ward, who threw out the first pitch at Saturdayís Athletics-Twins game. ďThereís a lot of negative things that come out of this city, but thereís also a lot of good. In this economy people are coming out and spending their money on these fights and having a good time. Itís exciting to see people excited about these fights; for fathers to be bringing their kids. Even women who would never go to a fight come up to me and my wife and say I bought a ticket and Iím coming to the next fight. Itís a lot of positive recognition and itís one of the reasons Iím in this sport.
"Itís not to make money or build a legacy but to make a positive impact.Ē