Is Allen Green Really the Best Substitute? My Suggestions

By Jason Peck - Thereís a lot of fighters out there who could have really shaken up this tournament. I mean, really shaken things up. To my mind, little changed when Allen Green replaced Jermain Taylor in the Super Six Ė thereís the five fighters of the Super Six who are actually in contention. Then thereís him. With this much money and prestige on the line, I have a hard time believing that Showtime couldnít recruit any fighter it wanted with a snap of its fingers.

I fully recognize my article will change nothing; Showtime certainly has more important things to worry about than an unpaid writer on a boxing site, albeit an exemplary website. For a moment, however, I will pretend otherwise and name three fighters I would much rather see in this tournament. I emphasize that I do not favor any of these three to WIN. Rather, I think these three bring the right tools to the table to make each fight a question mark. After all, hasnít the uncertainty made these matches all the more exciting?

True, the inexperience argument I have against Green could have applied toward Andre Dirrell and Andre Ward, both of whom proved themselves in the first two rounds. I argue however, that both were exemplary prospects; my only concern was that they didnít test themselves against a reliable second-tier talent like Allen Green. Maybe Iíll swallow crow, but Green isnít the kind of guy to win a world title. Heís the kind of guy to get beaten by a world champion.

Sakio Bika: Last time I checked, the physically imposing Sakio Bika was actively engaged in what seems to be his main concern these days Ė not fighting at all during his prime.

He savagely beat Peter Manfredo for the IBO super middleweight title, and has done little since. For awhile there he and the aforementioned Green were supposed to fight for the vacated spot in the tournament, a fight most experts had Bika winning with ease.

ďThe ScorpionĒ is hardly invincible. He lost to both Joe Calzaghe and Lucian Bute; I doubt they were the only two who could pull it off. But he sure didnít make it an easy night for either. Bika brings many attributes to the table here; heís tough, relentless and very physically imposing. Fighters who successfully defeated him did so by boxing around, rather than engage him directly. Furthermore, he has heavy hands and deceptively sharp boxing skills.

Given Andre Ward and Direllís slick technical abilities, I see either one defeating Bika on points. Conversely, fighters accustomed to pushing their weight around like Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham would be in for a VERY interesting fight. Either they would have to change their game plan and incorporate more boxing, or fight him directly and pray they come out on top. My judge and jury are still out on how Mikkel Kessler would fare, since he certainly brings a combination of strength and boxing skills.

Lucian Bute: People are starting to call him the best super-middleweight in the world, which I find rather ridiculous. In my opinion, the only reason he has an unbeaten record is because heís fought relatively limited oppositions Ė I stand firm that any guy in the Super Six could easily handle all the guys heís defended his title against. Some of them actually have. And my opinion of every fighter in the Super Six has gone up far higher than Bute, because at least they lost against top opposition and rebounded in a big way.

But why not toss Bute in the tournament anyway?

You canít deny the guyís got gifts. To my mind, he doesnít have A-list power, A-list skill, A-list speed or A-list toughness. No one attribute springs to mind when reviewing his career. Heís all-around good at everything, but not really great.

What matters is how he pulls everything together, as his successful title defenses can attest. Heís just powerful enough where it counts, he puts his punches in the right places, and he obviously comes ready to fight the opponent heís got, not the opponent he wants. How he might perform in the tournament is all a matter of speculation, but thereís definitely some fights to be had with Bute that really need to be had. In fact, I would go as far to call him the wild card, were he ever recruited.

Chad Dawson: Poor guy. Lately Iíve been of the mind that Chad Dawson if it nothing, a superior talent. He just has the rotten luck to be fighting in the wrong weight division. For years the light heavyweight was dominated by trifling fights against geriatrics like Glen Johnson, Antonio Tarver and a dilapidated Roy Jones, who went for big fights while denying young, hungry fighters their chance for a breakthrough fight. The situation is changing, but it will be some time before Chad Dawson finds a worthy opponent at 175 pounds. Bernard Hopkins talked a bit about fighting Dawson lately, but he does that a lot. Doesnít mean it will ever happen.

But Dawson wasnít always so heavy. Some time ago he was making a name for himself as a super-middleweight, before the opportunity to establish himself in a higher weight class presented itself. Itís a move Dawson has likely regretted; if he were 7 pounds lighter heíd have his fill of big fights at super-middleweight.

Maybe Dawson cannot move down a weight class. Maybe it would drain him of the amazing abilities that established him as the dominant force at light heavyweight. Maybe. Letís imagine if he could hack a little weight loss.

So what if the tournament has some big, strong bangers. I refer you to his victory over Tomasz Adamek, where Dawson used superior skill to outwork the stronger of the two. But I see the most intriguing matches against his fellow Americans, where he would take his hand speed and skills against other fighters renowned for much the same thing. That would be real fanís fight, boxing for the boxing fans.

Article posted on 20.06.2010

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