Former welterweight contender Dave “Boy” Green is one of Britain's all-time favorite pugilists. Green had an excellent amateur career over a span of 105 fights. He turned pro in 1974. Over his seven year career he won the British and European Light-Welterweight titles and the European Welterweight title. He lost in two bids for a world title, against Carlos Palomino in 1977 and against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980. Although an excellent fighter he had the unfortunate luck of fighting at a time when the welterweight division was absolutely loaded with talent. He retired in 1981 with a final record of 37-4 with 29 KO'S.
(SM) Mr. Green, tell me when you got started and what kind of amateur career did you have?
(DG) A friend and I joined the local amateur boxing club. I really enjoyed the competition. I think I was about thirteen years old. As an amateur I was a bantamweight, a featherweight, and then a lightweight. I won three
Eastern Counties championships and got through to the A.B.A semi-finals. I lost to Terry Waller who had won the A.B.A six times.
(SM) Where did the nickname “Boy” come from?
(DG) My manager/trainer Andy Smith suggested it. There probably was a lot of guys named Dave Green, so he said we needed to have a nickname. It came from a fighter in Chatteris named Eric Boon, he fought in the
1930s. That was his nickname and we just used that. It just stuck, it was a good nickname.
(SM) Who would you say was your first big name opponent you faced?
(DG) Probably Joey Singleton. That was my fifteenth fight, I won in six.
(SM) What fight would you say was your career highlight?
(DG) Probably the Jean-Baptiste Piedvache fight for the European title.
That was the hardest one. He had won forty out of forty-one fights to that point. It was a very tough fight for me.
(SM) Tell me about the John Stracey fight.
(DG) That was March 1977. Stracey was a former champion, had lost to Carlos Palomino. Whoever won this fight was going to fight Palomino. That one was a hard fight for me.
(SM) How close was your fight with Palomino before you were knocked out?
(DG) I was one or two rounds ahead at the time. Palomino had three cuts around his eyes. But he caught me in the end. That was the first time I
was knocked down as a pro. I had won twenty-four fights in a row, my first loss was a tough one.
(SM) You went to Denmark to defend your European title against Joergen Hansen. What happened in that fight?
(DG) I was perhaps a bit too cocky. I knocked him down in the second round. I just went for him and he was a big puncher, he caught me. I got up and he knocked me down again and the referee stopped it. It was a big
mistake by me, the biggest mistake of my career.
(SM) How did you like your chances going into the Sugar Ray Leonard fight?
(DG) Well Leonard fought Benitez and I thought Benitez wasn't as rough or as solid as I was. I thought I could go a good eight or ten rounds. Leonard was such an outstanding fighter though, the best in the thirteenth or
fourteenth rounds there was.
(SM) You retired after a tough loss to Reggie Ford in 1981, only twenty-eight years old, why?
(DG) I had won the British and European Light-Welter titles, the European Welterweight title and my manager suggested it. He said out there is Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Wilfred Benitez. He told me
to get out and do something else. At the time I didn't think he was right, I thought I could fight for three or four more years. But he was a great manager, he cared about me and I just got out.
(SM) Any regrets looking back?
(DG) I had over one-hundred amateur fights. My goal was to win a Southern Area title in Britain. I far exceeded what I thought I would do. I got two shots at a world title. I've been to Carlos Palomino's home
in California for dinner and Sugar Ray Leonard has been to my home and had dinner with my wife and I. It's been good.
(SM) Any fighters you would have liked to have got a chance at but didn't?
(DG) I think Duran and Hearns would have beaten me. Maybe a Benitez fight would have been a different story, but he was a great champion.
(SM) So after boxing what kind of career did you get into?
(DG) I was working for a packaging company as a packaging agent. One of my partners said he going to get out of it. I bought out some more partners and it became a fifty-fifty split. My partner retired a few years ago. It's
called Renoak. I also do a lot of charity work as well.
(SM) Do you keep up on boxing much these days?
(DG) Not so much. I think there is now like five or six champions at each weight. When I was there it was the WBA and WBC. I think the game has been spoiled now, you don't know who the real world champion is. When I was
fighting I could tell you who every world champion was in every weight class and now I couldn't name two in any division. I think it has been spoiled that way. I was lucky to be in the best welterweight division ever.
(SM) Mr. Green, any final comments?
(DG) Boxing has been very good to me. It's a dangerous sport. You should go in, make as much money as you can and get out. I've been one of the lucky ones. I had a great manager and I think that’s what you really need.
I had a great time.
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