Tonight's Shobox from Newkirk, Oklahoma, will feature a solid main event between super middleweight contender and Super Six alternate Allan Green (28-1, 20 KO) and undefeated, 38-year old Tarvis Simms (25-0, 11 KO). Green is someone who seems to almost refuse to move above this level despite his talent. I'm actually a big supporter of his despite any criticisms, because I think he's a legit contender and a good fighter.
Green was originally slated to face an arguably easier opponent, debunked puncher Victor Oganov (28-2, 28 KO), who has been handled easily by Fulgencio Zuniga (TKO-9) and Andre Dirrell (TKO-6). Oganov's impressive 100% KO rate has been padded by tomato cans and journeymen. Green would likely have out-quicked him without breaking a sweat.
Simms is craftier, though he's a big underdog tonight anyway. It's nice that Tarvis will risk that "0" against a good fighter, and though this might not bring the sizzle that Green-Oganov could have if it broke down into a war, I like Green-Simms a little better because I think Simms has an outside shot at the win, whereas I thought Oganov had essentially no shot at beating Allan.
Green is famous for a few things: A bad habit of looking at his own feet while he fights, his 18-second knockout of Jaidon Codrington in 2005, and for being rumored to fight top guys several times per year. Just this year he's been a potential opponent for Carl Froch, Jermain Taylor and Lucian Bute, and none of the fights have panned out.
On the undercard, we'll see a welterweight showdown between Antwone Smith (16-1-1, 8 KO) and unbeaten Henry Crawford (22-0-1, 9 KO). Smith, 22, has become an upset dandy this year, with back-to-back wins over then-unbeaten Norberto Gonzalez and former fringe contender Richard Gutierrez. Crawford, 28, is stepping up in class pretty significantly against Smith. A win for Smith would likely polish off what has been a really great 2009 for him, but a Crawford victory would give him a real feather in his cap.
The delightfully nicknamed and former amateur standout Marcus "Too Much" Johnson (17-0, 14 KO) gets a showcase fight against Victor Villereal (8-3-2, 4 KO) in a super middleweight opener. I've seen Johnson just once before, on that Don King webcast of Spinks-Phillips back in March 2008. He blitzed the hell out of the guy he fought that night, winning a first round knockout. He was really rough around the edges but did have obvious potential. A similar fate likely awaits Villereal. Thomas Gerbasi did an excellent piece on Marcus Johnson a few days ago.
For a full look at the size difference in tonight's main event, check out this snap from the weigh-in:
Simms looks like a welterweight, Green looks like a light heavy.