Tomorrow night when Oakland’s Andre Ward looks to defend his WBA super middleweight title against Allan Green, he will be looking to make a statement that he is here to stay. The bout at Oracle Arena will be televised on tape delay via SHOWTIME on the west coast and represents the champion’s first title defense.
Undefeated in twenty-one fights with thirteen knockouts, Andre Ward will be on exhibition at the Oracle Arena for the third time since just last year and hopes to add Allan Green to his growing list of defeated opponents at the stadium, which already includes top 168 pounders Mikkel Kessler and Edison Miranda. The former Olympic gold medalist made those bouts look surprisingly easy, as he cruised to a wide-margin decision in each.
As for Allan Green, the native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, sports an impressive record of his own, with twenty of his twenty-nine victories coming by way of knockout. His only defeat came at the hands of the aforementioned Edison Miranda in a bout three years ago. The thirty year old Green burst onto the scene five years ago after knocking out previously unbeaten Jaidon Codrington in 18 seconds, who at the time was a heavily hyped prospect out of New York City. Fairly or unfairly, since then he has been labeled as a knockout artist despite having proven boxing skills and the ability to easily go the distance.
In terms of how the men match-up tomorrow night, Andre Ward is superior to Allan Green in every respect other than punching power. Therefore, expect the champion to use distance and speed in order to frustrate and outpoint his opponent in the early going. By the mid-to-late rounds, Ward will likely take his attack into close quarters once both men slow, seeking to break Allan Green down a bit and press him with combination punching. Green does not want to fight backing up, so Andre Ward should look to make him do so with pressure beginning around the eighth round.
On the other hand, Allan Green will want to use his height and reach advantages to fight big, meaning he will have to utilize his jab a great deal to dictate his own pace and make Andre Ward pay a price. Green should also be prepared to throw a lot of punches and stay busy, regardless of whether the shots hit their mark or not. Andre Ward is a rhythm fighter, so Green should look to disrupt the champion from getting into any kind of flow by keeping him defensive and worried about incoming punches.
The winner of this bout should come down to whoever can consistently execute his strategy and impose his will over the course of twelve rounds. Despite not having the skills of Andre Ward, Allan Green possesses enough firepower to make it a difficult evening for the champion and even potentially steal a close decision, but that happens only if he can box a perfect fight. Green has a tendency to get a bit lazy at times and not throw his hands. By contrast, the one thing everyone can agree on when it comes to Andre Ward is the man brings consistency. He is a professional in every respect and works hard every second of every round.
As a result, look for Andre Ward to retain his title via a competitive 12 round decision. Allan Green may have his moments, but Ward will put enough rounds in the bank to come out on top in his hometown.