Boxing


Andre Ward; Allan Green Media Interview Highlights

boxingSuper Six World Boxing Classic competitors Andre Ward and Allan Green participated in an international media conference call on Tuesday to discuss their crucial Group Stage 2 12-round bout on Saturday, June 19, on SHOWTIMEģ (10 p.m., ET/PT, same-day delay) from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.

Ward (20-0, 13 KOs) will be making the first defense of the WBA belt he won on a convincing, 11th-round technical decision over Mikkel Kessler in their Super Six World Boxing Classic opener. Oaklandís Ward, who has emerged as a tournament favorite following his win in Group Stage 1, is currently listed as a 1-1 favorite to win it all by USA Today sports analyst Danny Sheridan. A victory over Green, of Tulsa,Okla., will catapult the last American to win an Olympic Games gold medal into the tournament semifinals.

A winner of six consecutive fights, Green (29-1, 20 KOs) is making his debut in the tournament after replacing Jermain Taylor. He enters the Super Six World Boxing Classic with zero points. A triumph by Green, who is challenging for his first world title, would turn the tournament upside down. If victorious by knockout, Green would tie Arthur Abraham for first place heading into the final Group Stage bouts before the semifinals..

The Super Six World Boxing Classic bout will be co-promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, TNT Boxing and DiBella Entertainment. The event is sponsored by Corona, Oakland Tribune and River Rock Casino.

Here are some highlights of what the fighters had to say on Tuesday.

ANDRE WARD:

ďI donít know if I can compare Allan with anyone Iíve ever fought before. At the end of the day each fighter has his own strengths and his own weaknesses. If youíre going to become a great fighter you have to learn to exploit his weaknesses so thatís what weíre working on. But I donít get caught up in trying to compare this guy with that. At the end of the day I look at June 19 as a fresh night. And itís all about showing up on that night. So even though weíve studied tape I expect a better Allan Green than what Iíve seen on tape. Iíve prepared myself mentally for this to be the toughest fight of my career.

People say you used your head as a weapon against Kessler. Can you address that?

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. I 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. On 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

Allan Green has had some negative things to say about you. Has that bothered you?

ďBother me? No. Use them? Absolutely. I donít read a lot of press before the fight but I get people coming up to me all the time saying, ĎDid you hear this or did you hear that?í Iíve been like since the amateurs but for some reason I live like a lamb before the fight. Iíve heard his comments on Fight Camp 360 and you better believe I use that. It bothers me in a good way because I constantly have something to prove and thatís what not a lot of people realize. I think a lot of people think Iím coming in here really well rested and really enjoying the fact that Iíve got a championship. But itís been all work. For me, I try to say as little as possible before a fight. Iím not going to stand there and get pushed down or get bullied but at the end of the day I just shut my mouth, work hard and take care of business. So thatís what I plan on doing 11 days from now.

ďItís a huge deal for me to be fighting in Oakland. Thereís 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. Weíre slowly and surely doing that and itís very dear to my heart.

ďIf he (Green) has a chip on his shoulder then that makes two of us. Iíve been away from my family for a long time. Iím a bit irritable. Heís desperate to win but I want to keep my title. I donít know if itís now or it itís later but I know eventually Iím going to get respect for the dog thatís in me and for the bite down that I have. Itís about going out there and taking care of my business. I expect him to have a chip on his shoulder because I definitely have one on mine. Itís just go time. At some point the talking just stops and itís about just showing up. If Allan Green beats me Iíll take my hat off to him. I donít make excuses. And I expect the same from him if I beat him. What Iím prepared for is a dog fight. Iím prepared for anything heís got.Ē

ďMy right knee is fine. Weíve had no issues with the knee throughout our entire training camp. Coming off of surgery there are certain things you need to do in rehabilitation just to keep the muscles and the hamstring and all the different muscles that wrap around the knee; just keeping them strong. The knee has really been a non-issue in this camp.

ALLAN GREEN:

ďAndre looked great against Kessler but Iím not Kessler. Mikkel 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. I 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.

ďI think I belonged in the tournament originally. As far as (Andre) Dirrell goes I donít think he was ready. The thing I didnít understand was Jermain Taylor getting into the tournament. No 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.

ďIím not coming into this tournament thinking about points. Iím 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. I canít put pressure on myself like that.

Article posted on 09.06.2010



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