John David Jackson: "Kessler brings the pain and if he can get you out of there, he’s going to get you out of there"

By Nick Powers: Following the events of the final fight in Group Stage Three of Showtime’s unprecedented Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament in the Super Middleweight Division, Andre Ward cemented his spot in the semi-finals with a lopsided win against tournament newcomer Allan Green. In his first Super Six performance, Green looked sluggish and weak as Ward bullied him on the inside and against the ropes around en route to a unanimous decision victory. Speaking with On The Ropes Boxing Radio on June 28, 2010, Green’s well-respected trainer John David Jackson was nothing short of outspoken regarding Green’s performance, and what may have contributed to it..

“Allan wasn’t very good. I’ve been telling Allan for the last year and a half, almost two years that he needs to move up to 175,” said Jackson, noting that Green’s weight cut has dramatically hindered his ring performance in recent bouts. “I knew going into it that it was going to be a difficult fight for Allan, but I thought Allan had enough skills to offset whatever Andre did, but the weight was a very big factor for Allan Green.”

Though Green suggested a post-fight notion that his three training camps within succession of each other may have drained his body in preparing for Andre Ward, Jackson was quick to point out that Green’s rest periods between/after camps for failed fights were adequate. Instead, Green’s history of fighting people at catch weights never limited to 168 pounds, in addition to a vegetarian lifestyle that limited him to a liquid diet when making weight for Ward were more integral factors in Green’s performance according to the former WBO Jr. Middleweight and WBA Middleweight Champion.

For Jackson, who by his own admission does not call the shots but instead trains the fighter, Allan Green’s future success lies at the Light Heavyweight limit of 175 pounds, however certain incentives could keep Green at Super Middleweight for a bit longer. At least one more fight, anyway, as a bout with newly crowned WBC Super Middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler is obligated of Green, who stepped in for Jermain Taylor following the Arkansas native’s withdrawal. The Kessler bout, though, is one that could potentially post even bigger problems.

“Kessler’s a different kind of beast; he can punch, if nothing else. He may not be the best boxer, but he has boxing skills, but he can punch, so that poses different problems for Allan Green,” Jackson said, also noting that Green’s diet and weight program could make the difference in his second Super Six appearance. “Ward’s a safety first kind of guy. Kessler, he brings the pain and if he can get you out of there, he’s going to get you out of there.”

A tall order by his own admission, Jackson’s opinions remain raw and uncut regarding not only the Kessler fight, but the tournament as a whole. Though his fighter may be at a disadvantage, be it point totals or weight-draining, Jackson is well aware that any smack talk being dished out must be backed up in order to prove a point. Unlike how fighters outside of this set-up tend to avoid certain opponents here or there and claim to be the best, the Super Six forces you to prove it; one of many reasons that Jackson admires the bracket system.

The dangers lie ahead, be it physical, mental or monetary, and Jackson is a man well aware of all the above. Still, as any good trainer will, he can do only one thing: His job.

“To me, is the risk worth the danger? No, but I’m not the fighter, I just train him and I have to get him ready, so at this point it’s up to him what he wants to do. Either way, I’m 110% behind him.”

To hear the full interview with John David Jackson including his thoughts on Lucian Bute’s hypothetical involvement in the Super Six, his relationship with Bernard Hopkins, the difficult transition from fighter to trainer, where his friend Shane Mosley goes from here and more, visit

Article posted on 05.07.2010

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