The hottest of hot prospects in New York these days is going national. New York State super middleweight champion Jaidon “The Don” Codrington (9-0, 9 KOs) makes his ShoBox debut on Friday, November 4, against Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Allan “Sweetness” Green (17-0, 11 KOs). The two undefeateds will square off at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma, in an 8-round bout broadcast on Showtime.
The 21-year-old, 6’2” Codrington was born in Bridgeport, CT and currently resides in Queens, New York. He started boxing at the age of 12, had a distinguished amateur career, during which he won the National Golden Gloves in 2002 at 165 lbs. and the New York Golden Gloves in 2004 in the 178 lb. open division. His record was 67-9 when he turned pro.
“I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. I’ve got three brothers and one sister. I moved to New York when I was in high school. Fighting is in my family. My uncle was a boxer, amateur and pro,” Codrington said. “My brothers always dibble-dabbled in boxing, but nobody went pro with it.”
Nobody, that is, but “The Don.”
Codrington and his opponent are not complete strangers. They have not yet fought, but their paths have crossed, if not their swords, so they have some history to contend with.
“Allan Green?” Codrington asked. “Green is just another victim. I remember seeing him fight at the Golden Gloves and getting dropped two or three times. I do not know how he won the fight, but he managed to pull it off.”
“I know all about Codrington,” responded Green, himself a former Golden Gloves champ. “He is not ready for me, and he knows he’s not ready. He is too slow. He is not seasoned enough. He is easy to hit, and that is not a good sign.”
What is a good sign is that these two undefeated up-and-comers have agreed to meet, and in front of a national boxing audience. But the bright lights and glare of publicity are of no concern to Jaidon Codrington.
“I’m more comfortable in the ring,” he said. “It feels like my home. [I’m] comfortable without the headgear, comfortable without the shirt, comfortable with the smaller gloves. I feel like I have a lot more professional experience because of my sparring. I’ve been sparring with a lot more pros, settling down a lot more, taking my time a lot more.”
The adjustment from the amateur to pro ranks is one of the fight game’s great divides, and not because one’s lily white and other Satan, but because the standards for winning are so different.
According to Codrington, “Amateur is more ‘be first, you got to be first, you got to be first.’ And the good ones are first, they start first and they end last. The pros aren’t about first and last. You’re going eight rounds, it’s impossible to do that. It’s (the pro game) more about strategy, about getting them into a position that you can deal with. I learned how to study a tape, and how to see guys’ flaws, and capitalize on it.”
But with things going as well as they’ve been going in New York, some have questioned the wisdom of venturing into Green’s backyard for this bout. Some have even gone so far as to question the wisdom of Codrington’s promoter Lou DiBella, who, while known for many things, is not known putting his fighters in tough.
Codrington said “A lot of people are wondering, ‘Why are you going over there? Why are you taking this fight at this stage in your career? You don’t have to.’ I just want to let everybody know that I want to be great. I don’t just want to be the average boxer that takes the easy way out. I’m doing this because I’m confident in my ability, comfortable with my ability to do anything, anywhere, any time with anybody.
“I think I’m bringing back the old school. Why wait? You know what I’m saying? You know what it is, you don’t need to be babied, go get it. Either you’re going to do it or not. If you ain’t got it, why wait ten years to find out you ain’t got it? I’m going to let Allan Greene know he ain’t got it. He waited too long to figure out he ain’t got it.”
I asked Codrington if he could be more specific.
“He (Green) just runs and holds and hits. I’m looking to fight him a little more at times, and we’re looking to outbox him too. We don’t plan on going in there and be the Mexican flatfooted take a hit give a hit type fighter. We plan to be aggressive,” Codrington said, “but at the same time smart. You know what I’m saying? Very elusive, make him miss, make him pay, and then box him on the angles.
“Fans don’t care about Allan Green, ‘Sweetness,’ sugar, this thing. They care about seeing a fight. They care about seeing blood and guts.”
Although Codrington has been fighting professionally for only seventeen months, although he has only fought 22 career rounds, all nine men that he met he flattened. Three of his fights ended in the first round. Three ended in the second. The average length of his bouts is 2.4 rounds.
So while Codrington has power to spare, he also has killer instinct, as he explains: “If you tell me I can take half a day and still get paid for a full day, I’m gonna do it.”