Meticulous Green earns Super Six break

Kevin Iole
Yahoo! Sports
Green knocked out Carlos DeLeon Jr. (pictured) at the MGM Grand in 2009

Meticulous Green earns Super Six break

Green knocked out Carlos DeLeon Jr. (pictured) at the MGM Grand in 2009

You can follow Kevin Iole on Twitter at @KevinI

Allan Green loves to read. He's apt to be found with a book in his hands whenever he doesn't have boxing gloves on them.

He's also an avid comic book collector and an expert on mythology.

The most important reading he does, however, is to peruse a collection of his own writings.

Green keeps detailed notes of all fighters he is even remotely likely to have to fight. When it comes time to fight that person, he pulls out the notebook and reads.

Green, who replaced Jermain Taylor in Showtime's Super Six tournament, meets unbeaten 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward on Saturday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.

And Green has been working overtime gauging his notes. He had a thick file on Ward, who holds the World Boxing Association super middleweight title, long before he ever put his name on a contract to fight him.

"I'm a very studious fighter," Green said. "This is my job; this is how I support my family. It's serious business. People are sometimes surprised when they hear about what I do, but I don't know why. If you are a quarterback, you want to know every last thing about every defense in the league.

"Well, I want to know every last thing about every guy I might fight. I know they're not going to fight me like they fought someone else, but I get to know them, and I have a good idea of tendencies – things he likes to do and things he doesn't."

Green is 29-1 with 20 knockouts, but he was on the outside looking in when Showtime created the super middleweight tournament last year.

He'd flown to New York to meet with Showtime Sports general manager Ken Hershman before the field was set in order to plead his case for entry. Taylor, the former undisputed middleweight champion, got in. Green didn't, but he got a bit of satisfaction when they fought different opponents on the same card on April 25, 2009, in Mashantucket, Conn.

Taylor was knocked out by Carl Froch, while Green dominated and then knocked out Carlos DeLeon Jr.

"He got knocked out and I won in impressive fashion," Green said. "That was my reward. I thought I should have been in [the Super Six from the beginning], but I didn't really expect to get in. I'm not going to put a strike on Ken Hershman.

"You can't really expect guys in the corporate world to know boxing. I bear no malice toward him. He made a business decision."

But when Taylor was knocked out by Arthur Abraham in the first round of the Super Six, he decided to pull out and take a break from boxing. Green got the call to get into the tournament.

And though he's already saddled with Taylor's loss, things couldn't have worked out better for him. He's guaranteed to fight for world title bouts in back-to-back matches, meeting Ward for the WBA belt on Saturday and then taking on Mikkel Kessler for the WBC belt in Group Stage III.

Plus, if he wins his two fights, he'll move to the round-robin portion of the tournament and will have made himself the favorite.

Last time Green hit the big time, he wasn't so lucky. He earned an HBO date to fight Edison Miranda on March 3, 2007. He was 23-0 at the time and on the rise as one of the game's top young prospects. He essentially stunk up the joint against Miranda, looking nothing like the ferocious, powerful fighter HBO had believed it was getting. He was listless and lost a wide 10-round decision.

He knocked out Darrell Woods in the first round four months later, even though he was feeling worse. And two days after that, Green found himself on an operating table having 85 percent of his colon removed.

His colon had become paralyzed, he said, and toxins were seeping into his body.

When he fought Miranda, he estimated he was at no more than 30 percent of his best. But he never thought about pulling out of the fight.

"I have that fighter's spirit and I was fighting on HBO, and I wasn't sure I'd get another chance," Green said. "I felt I could catch him and get him out of there."

He dropped Miranda once, but he didn't have the energy to take him out. And after he had the surgery, he didn't have the patience to sit in a hospital and recuperate.

He was told he'd be in the hospital for two weeks, but he checked himself out two days after surgery and headed home. The next day, he ran for a mile. A week later, he was back in the gym.

"I needed to get out of that hospital," Green said. "I needed to get better and I wasn't going to do that being around all those sick people."

He's won all five of his fights since coming back from surgery, including three by knockout. He was highly impressive in his wins over DeLeon and Tarvis Simms in his last two outings. His promoter, Lou DiBella, expects nothing less than another big-time effort on Saturday against Ward.

"Allan's a guy who is very comfortable with himself and who he is," DiBella said. "He's an extremely bright guy, an interesting guy. He's a real family guy. He's a very bright guy. He's a very bright guy with a rage and he uses that to his advantage [in the ring]. He's hungry. There couldn't be a hungrier guy, I don't think, than Allan Green. And usually, the hungry guys win the fights.

"We recognize how good Andre Ward is. He's one of the most skilled boxers in the world, but he's not a big banger. He has some vulnerabilities, and Allan has the kind of style that can take advantage of them."

What to Read Next