by Paul Magno
If Allan Green were to read and believe all the buzz on the Internet among alleged experts and fans, he wouldn’t even bother showing up for his bout this Saturday against WBA Super Middleweight champ, Andre Ward. There aren’t too many people giving Green a chance and even many of those speaking up for him are only really giving him a puncher’s chance.
But the truth of the matter is that Allan Green has already won. He’s got the biggest payday of his career, a world title shot and the guarantee of more seven figure paychecks and title shots as part of the Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament.
Not only that, but the pressure is off now. Few give him a shot at beating Ward and none give him a shot at winning the whole tournament, especially considering that he inherited Jermain Taylor’s 0-1 deficit. So, basically, all he has to do is give an honest, solid showing in his next few fights and he would already be surpassing expectations. Realistically, this could be Green’s road to post-boxing financial stability: Fight the big fights as part of the Super 6 Tourney, make a name for himself, and ride that wave to a couple of post-tournament title shots and TV dates. It’s a nice 5-year plan for the 30-year old Tulsa, Oklahoma native.
This sure beats the previous road Green had to travel, fighting on ESPN and small Showtime cards for weak payouts and marginal exposure. He certainly hasn’t helped his case any by turning in some tepid performances in several of his bigger bouts and by dropping a wide decision to Edison Miranda in a tentative 2007 performance, but the retirement of Jermain Taylor has given Green a once in a lifetime second chance to make a good first impression. Green has now, finally, been invited to “The Show” and the rest depends on how he responds.
The truth of the matter is that Allan Green does have what it takes to beat any of the other five tournament members. He’s sharp, athletic, and has one-punch, instant game-changing power. The question with him has always been whether he can put it all together and execute when he steps up to that next level.
Saturday night will be the first indication of whether the “new” Allan Green is any better than the old version and whether he, indeed, belongs with the big boys.
Solace should be taken in the fact that most tales of underdog victories begin with the underdog being overlooked and written-off by the so-called experts. When the pressure is off and expectations are low, talent sometimes has a funny way of bubbling up to the top.
But, win, lose, or draw, Allan Green has already posted a victory. He’s on the main stage, making main event money and is being matched up against the sport’s best. This is what Green has always pleaded for. Now, let’s see how far he can take this.