By Andre Courtemanche: The plot has thickened now that former world title challenger Antwun Echols is in and Samuel Miller is officially out as super middleweight contender Allan “Sweetness” Green’s opponent on Friday, February 29..
Oklahoma’s Green (26-1, 18 KOs), who looked to have a predictable pre-written victory story lined up for his half of the “Double Main Event” ESPN2 broadcast from the Paragon Casino in Marksville, Louisiana (IBF #1 super welterweight Sechew Powell will appear in the other main event), is suddenly embroiled in a much heavier drama now that Miller has been replaced by Echols, a hard-punching veteran who is still capable of springing surprises when properly conditioned
While Miller (18-2, 15 KOs) is no slouch in the punching department, the Colombian relies primarily on brute strength and limited technique to carry him to victory. An undefeated killer in his homeland, Miller has faltered badly when stepping up to a higher level of competition.
The heavy-handed Echols (31-7-3, 27 KOs), on the other hand, has put his skills on display against some of the world’s best and always handled himself well. At 36 years of age, the Iowa resident still has enough left in the tank to give top contenders a run for their money, as evidenced by his surprisingly determined 12-round war with Rubin Williams (D 12) a year ago.
Furthering the potential for a cliffhanger is Green’s tendency to lapse mentally.
Winning effortlessly against journeyman Donnie McCrary in 2006, Green was caught with a volley of punches that left him flat on his back and nearly out. While he quickly righted himself and finished the no-hoper in round six, the fact remains that Green came within a heartbeat of being knocked out in a fight he nearly couldn’t lose.
A lapse against a puncher like Echols could quickly turn disastrous.
Facing hammer fisted Colombian Edison Miranda less than a year ago, Green turned in a disappointing and overly cautious performance and was knocked down twice and beaten clearly on points.
Echols and Miranda are both athletic sluggers who serve up the constant pressure that seems to un-nerve Allan Green.
Will the Allan Green who wowed the crowd with a sensational 18-second victory over then red-hot Jaidon Codrington show up for battle on February 29? Or will the gun-shy defensive minded boxer take his place again?
One thing is for sure. The addition of Antwun Echols means the story of this fight just got a whole lot more interesting.
Tickets are on sale now, priced at $100 Ringside (Limited Seating) and $40 (Reserved Stadium Seating) and can be obtained through www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the Paragon Casino Resort at 1.800.WIN.1.WIN.
For more information on the upcoming show, go to www.keeppunching.com. To visit the fabulous Paragon Casino go to www.paragoncasinoresort.com.