Sorry, Sakio Bika fans. There is no chance in hell that your guy is going to replace Allan Green, who offered a distinctly underwhelming performance in his Super Six debut on Saturday night in Oakland against hometowner Andre Ward.
Green is locked in to the tournament, a Showtime source tells us, so we are stuck with the Oklahoman for the rest of the tourney it looks like, barring some unforeseen development (ie an injury, or a Green pullout).
The reaction to Greens performance, which lacked heart, to say the least, as the boxer showed minimal desire for anything other than going the full 12, was swift and severe. We called him listless. Other keyboard tappers and fans on message boards werent so kind. He was called a dog, and gutless. Harsh, yes. But Green made his bed, and then procured the bedbugs himself, and then laid in the bed, and got bit, and had the balls to bitch about it. The boxer blamed overtraining on his showing, saying that hed been in three training camps recently, and that sapped his energy. He came in too light, at 166 pounds, he said. Er...you were TOO well conditioned? No, I get it that someone can be too light for a fight. Oscar weighing 143 for a welterweight fight, on his frame, I can see how that would truly adversely affect him. But two pounds on the 6-2 Green, to be honest, shouldnt be the difference maker.
It would be easier to stomach Greens explanations if he hadnt talked such a ferocious game coming in. He admitted to Showtime interrogator Jim Gray, in fact, that he knew in camp that he was off, but he continued to talk smack, and promise to give Ward a beat-down. Hey, thats within the bounds of decency in this game; perhaps he was talking to get himself pumped up. Next time, though, hed be well advised to back off on the trash talk if he suspects his body wont be able to cash a check his mouth wrote.
Green would be well served to go on a little goodwill media tour, in my opinion. He could tell all the fans who, quite frankly, sat through a less than thrilling scrap largely because Green (age 29; 29-2 with 20 KOs) was unwilling to mix it up, that he screwed up. I messed up. I talked big, and came up small. I wasted your time. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I will do better next time. I wont accuse you of plagiarism if you use that as the script, bro.
Beg forgiveness, Allan. Even if part of you thinks you shouldnt have to do go the humble route, I suggest you fake the feeling. Admit that your pre-fight hype indicated that youd be offering a different sort of show, and tell us that you are sorry for letting us down. And can the overtraining excuse...A pro athlete who fancies himself an uncrowned champion should be able to muster enough energy to try and take the other guys head off a few times, if he knows that he isnt on the top of his game on a given night.
People can be quick to judge, but when they are offered a from-the-heart, or even, a from the playbook-of-a-PR-pro mea culpa, they will forgive.
The cynic in me who has seen Green disappear for looong stretches in fights before thinks he may well not be able to be anything other than what he is. He may well not be able to pass the hurdles, almost all mental Id venture to say, that will quite possibly keep him from reaching his true potential. For that reason, Id like to see the 31-year-old Cameroonian Bika (28-3-2 with 19 KOs) bounce Green, who turned pro in 2002, and get a shot at Super Six stardom. Ive seen him, and his aggressive style, enough to pretty much guarantee that he wouldnt pull a Green, and fight a crap fight, and then offer a plate of excuses afterwards.
(A couple emails to Greens manager went unreturned, so we arent able to see if in the days after his stinkeroo Green has changed his tune, for the record.)
Hopefully, Green will prove me wrong. The Oklahoma boxer is slated to fight Mikkel Kessler, on Sept. 25, venue TBD, probably in Europe, in his next Super Six assignment. Happily, this is a what have you done for me lately sport. All he has to do is come in ready to rumble, and prove it with ample desire and heart, and people will forget what he didnt do on June 19.