Will Green Find “Silver” in Denmark?
By Aaron Lloyd
May 18, 2012- This weekend, veteran super middleweight contender Allan Green continues his quest for his “elusive” first major world title, as he travels to Copenhagen Denmark to challenge Mikkel Kessler, 44-2 (33), for the vacant WBC “silver” light heavyweight title. Green, who is 31-3 with 21 knockouts, and is currently rated #10 according to the WBC, appeared confident in a recent interview about his chances of getting the upset in hostile territory, despite his coming into the fight as a distinct underdog.
“I have a lot of options. He’s not very fast, he’s straight up and down. He’s probably strong but he’s nowhere near as strong as I am. We can easily out-box him, or we can press him if we want to, because our defense is much better than his. His defense is his offense, and being that I’m a natural counter puncher, that just creates a lot of openings for me. His problem will be dealing with my speed and power.”
When asked about how he will deal with the pressure of fighting in Kessler’s backyard in front of tens of thousands of partisan supporters, Green jokingly replied:
“The only time I have to worry about that is if I’m walking to the ring and I see everybody in the crowd with trunks and gloves on- then it’s a problem.”
For Kessler, this fight marks his first at the light heavyweight limit, and his first fight in nearly a year. He has battled hand injuries in the past, and many are anxious to see if he can return to the form that resulted in a thrilling, hard-fought decision victory over Carl Froch back in April of 2010. Kessler has long been considered one of the premier talents in the 168 pound division, and now, a foray into the light heavyweight division could bring interesting potential matchups with fighters like Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud, as well as European fighters like Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew. First, however, he must get past the highly motivated American challenger in order to prove his relevance in future big-name fights, which could prove to be more difficult proposition than what many anticipate.
“I feel strong, I feel fast, I feel fit,” said Green. “I am full of energy, and I am ready to bring the belt home.
Green has quick hands, he is an excellent counter puncher, and he is a tough, awkward guy to face. The problem is that he is too easy to hit, and his record substantiates the notion that he is always a notch below the very best in the division. Kessler is still presumably at that “very best” level, but he has only fought twice in the past two and a half years, and never at light heavyweight, which means this fight has the potential to be an entertaining, and evenly contested matchup. I think Kessler is the more accurate puncher, and when thrown in combination, his offense can be dangerously effective. In addition, he took a tremendous amount of punishment in his bout with Carl Froch, and yet he stood firm and continued to come forward. In the end, I don’t think Green can win by knockout, and I highly doubt that he can match Kessler in terms of boxing ability, or be effective enough to win a decision in Denmark. Therefore, I think it becomes a question of the manner in which Kessler will prevail; and a close decision seems to be the most rational of outcomes, given Allan’s history against quality fighters.
The Mikkel Kessler-Allan Green WBC “silver” light heavyweight title bout will take place Saturday night at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, and will be broadcast by Boxnation (http://www.boxnation.com/boxing-matches/) as well as ESPN3 (http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/493084/mikkel-kessler-vs-allan-green) beginning at 5:00 EST.