Green: “Kessler couldn’t understand jive, that’s why he couldn’t deal with Ward”
Photo credit: Tom Casino/Showtime – By Chris Williams: Super middleweight contender Allan Green (29-1, 20 KO’s) has a simple explanation why Mikkel Kessler lost to Andre Ward (21-0, 13 KO’s) last November, saying “Here’s the problem: Mikkel Kessler is from Denmark. He speaks English. Ward speaks English. Kessler understands English.
Kessler doesn’t jive, that’s why he couldn’t deal with Andre Ward. I speak jive very well and will Saturday night.” Translated: Green is saying that he knows how to beat Ward’s style, which is a fairly common one in the United States.
Green feels that Kessler, a European, didn’t have much experience against fighters like Ward before his stage 1 Super Six bout with him last November. To be sure, Green is partially right. Kessler has fought mostly European fighters during his career.
However, the problem for Kessler wasn’t Ward’s style; It seemed more of a case of Ward having too much hand speed and too good of an inside game for Kessler to handle. Green has better hand speed than Kessler, but not by much. He also doesn’t have an any better inside skills than Kessler, which could be negative for Ward on Saturday night when he faces the 26-year-old Ward in their stage 2 Super Six fight at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California.
Green says that’s not just a slugger, that he knows how to box and to think in the ring. However, Green is first and foremost a slugger and only seems to fall back into boxing when he’s faced with an opponent that won’t fold up camp early. you can tell that Green rarely has to work on his boxing skills in his last fight against Tarvis Simms.
Green looked kind of confused in that fight when Simms didn’t go down immediately like most of Green’s other over-matched opponents. Green will have to be able to fall back on his boxing skills once again if he can’t get Ward out of there early.
In the end, it may not matter how much jive that Green understands. What may matter is that he doesn’t have the track record of having faced fighters like Ward and may find himself floundering and way out of his depth. Green may have hurt himself by building up such an impressive record on the backs of B level opposition. There seems to be a lack of progression in his career in terms of building up to the top tier fighters. Green is basically going to be making a huge leap up on Saturday night from the B class opponents that he’s feasted on during his career to one of the very best fighters in the super middleweight division. Yeah, it’s good that Green speak jive but it might not matter if he doesn’t have the experience and the talent to deal with Ward’s jive.