Super Middleweight contender Allan Green takes a deep and dark look at the Welterweight Division

30/11/2009 09:27

Sometimes you need to be around someone face to face to fully appreciate them and get a true understanding for who they are. Such was the case for me with Super Middleweight contender Allan Green.

Before meeting him I had wondered if the Tulsa, Oklahoma native was a little too outspoken for his own good and questioned his actions at certain moments. But after getting to know him personally through covering him during training camps at Contender’s Gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the past three years I can say that I got to know ‘Sweetness’ deep down to his core. There were many facets of his persona that stood out, one of them being his deep and sharp intellect regarding the sport of boxing.

Whether speaking during a candid interview, watching fights live, or letting his thoughts loose at the gym, Green knows a great deal about the sport; more than I would have initially imagined. He studies fighters from all weight classes and has never been shy towards giving his thoughts on any individual pugilist in the game.

With much going on in the Welterweight class these days I saw it fitting that Green would be an ideal mind to dissect when looking at some of the division’s biggest names and potential matchups. Right off the bat I questioned Green about his thoughts on the possibility of a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather showdown but Green personally feels that it’s a fight we may never see.

“Floyd isn’t going to fight Manny Pacquiao,” Green states bluntly. “I think Floyd would beat him but he’s not going to fight him. Just like he doesn’t want to fight Shane Mosley. I think Floyd Mayweather is a very talented fighter but the truth is the truth and he has never beaten an A+ class fighter no matter what he says. I would pick Mayweather to win that fight however it would be very interesting to see what would happen if Manny Pacquiao catches him with a straight left.”

It’s always interesting when an ultra confident athlete is critiqued by another, and Green didn’t hold back his thoughts on the many opportunities that young Floyd has let slip away. While obviously having respect for Floyd’s skills, Green is like many in that he would simply like to see those talents up against the world’s elite fighters.

“When he fought De La Hoya he wasn’t at his best,” Green points out. “De La Hoya had beaten a real fighter in five years. Ricky Hatton was never an A level fighter. Diego Corrales was maybe on that level and the same with Jose Luis Castillo but he hasn’t beaten anyone greater. If you want to be called the greatest you need to fight the greatest in your division.”

Mayweather's opinion of himself has always been high but lately his talk has seemed to carry the day more times than not. I asked Green if he genuinely felt Mayweather was dismissive of Pacquiao or if deep down he truly respected the Filipino’s skills. Never one to go for false bravado, Green doesn't have a problem calling a spade a spade.

“I’m going to tell you something,” Green continues. “Every person you have heard Mayweather talk about or make excuses about he hasn’t ended up fighting them. If you are the best you have to fight the best. What Manny Pacquiao has done, whether Floyd wants to believe it or not, is beat some outstanding fighters. He’s beaten Barrera, Marquez, Morales, Cotto and other outstanding fighters.”

Pacquiao’s run in the sport has been impressive, with none of his bouts standing out more so than his recent destruction of Cotto on November 14th. Before the Pacquiao-Cotto showdown Green was on the fence as to who would emerge victorious but afterwards he came away with a newfound appreciation for what Manny had accomplished.

“I thought it was a good fight,” Green states honestly of the WBO Welterweight title tilt. “I thought Cotto could have possibly won the fight but he never recovered after the fourth round when he was hit with that uppercut. He dropped and it seemed like mentally he went back to the Margarito fight.”

Perhaps Green is right in that Cotto has never been able to shake the memories of his brutal knockout loss to Antonio Margarito from July of last year. That defeat, coupled with the recent stoppage to Pacquiao has had many wanting the Puerto Rican to call it a day but Green feels unsure of what the two division champion should do next.

“I can’t really say what the man is thinking,” Green says of his fellow fighter. “When you take beatings like he took against Margarito and Pacquiao that is going to affect you. With Cotto I think it is more mental, just like with a guy like Jermain Taylor. If he can get his mind back mentally strong and tough I think he will be alright. I think he should have taken an easier fight after the Clottey fight because he fought Pacquiao immediately after him.”

Green is correct in noting that fighting Joshua Clottey is no easy task for any welterweight and Green personally feels the Ghanaian fighter is slightly overlooked in the 147 pound mix. The sport of boxing wouldn’t be the same without an occasional dark horse to shake things up and that is exactly how Green sees the former IBF Welterweight champion.

“Clottey is another good welterweight,” Green says with respect. “These guys call themselves the best but don’t forget that Joshua Clottey is out there too. I would like to see how Manny Pacquiao would deal with Joshua Clottey. Clottey strong, he has a good jab, he’s disciplined, and he pressures guys.”

When asked his thoughts on the January 30th Welterweight unification bout between Shane Mosley and Andre Berto, Green almost takes offense to the question. While some look at it as a pick em’ battle pitting Mosley’s experience against Berto’s youth, Green sees it more as a mismatch.

“Come on man,” Green says as he voice riles up. “That doesn’t even seem like a serious question. I saw Luis Collazo’s two fights against each guy. Collazo was actually at a better point in his career when he fought Mosley but looked much better against Berto. I like Andre Berto and I have nothing against him but when he fought for his title he fought a guy who hadn’t fought in like eighteen months when he fought for the WBC title.”

Green’s convictions regarding that bout are as clear as day, but not because he has any hate towards Berto. Instead it’s a case of simply seeing Mosley as the division’s premier fighter. A self proclaimed old school fighter at heart, Green is obviously partial to Mosley, who is seasoned and still very much potent at the ripe old age of 38.

“I pick Mosley to beat any of them,” Green says getting straight to the point. “He’s just better. He’s very fast himself, he’s very strong and he has great defense. Pacquiao can’t outbox Shane Mosley. Pacquiao can’t out fight Shane Mosley. I pick Mosley over all of them and I put Mayweather right under him.”

Interesting stuff, as always, from Green. A one on one talk with the championship hopeful is never a dull task and even a quick analysis of the 147 pound landscape can be more than what one would expect.

Boxing is a sport that is all about ‘now’ and at the moment much of the buzz and energy in the sport is in the Welterweight division due to Pacquiao’s recent run of success, Mayweather’s always outlandish talk, and Mosley’s still burning desire and willingness to face all comers.

Before we closed out I asked Green one last question in regards to what might be going on behind closed doors. With so much rumors and speculations taking place, it’s hard to really gauge how things will play out, as the sport of boxing is always full of surprises. Green has always been one to harp about the politics of the sport and feels that there is more brewing that we imagine.

“There is always something going on behind the scenes. Whoever doesn’t believe that is a damn fool. There’s always more than meets the eye. If it was just honestly about merit, valor, and accomplishments then everybody would fight everybody but it isn’t like that. No matter what ends up happening it won’t surprise me.”

Allan Green is a Super Middleweight contender with a 27-1 record with 18 knockouts. He spends his training camps down in South Florida and is dying for the opportunity to face one of his division’s biggest names.