Mitch Green

Last updated
Mitch Green
Statistics
Nickname(s)Blood
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Reach82 in (208 cm)
NationalityAmerican
BornMitchell Green
(1957-01-14) January 14, 1957 (age 64)
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights27
Wins19
Wins by KO12
Losses6
Draws1
No contests1

Mitch Green (born January 13, 1957) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1980 to 2005. He is best known for going the distance with Mike Tyson (20-0, 19 KOs), who was undefeated in 1986, and for his later street brawl with Tyson in 1988. A toothpick dangling between his lips became his trademark at any public appearance. [1]

Contents

Early years

Green grew up on 175th St. between Anthony and Clay Aves. "I was shot twice when I was 17. But it had to have been the will of God that I wasn't hurt" said Green. The first time Green was shot it was with a .22 magnum. The bullet passed through his right wrist, but the slug missed arteries, bones and nerves and Green was fighting again a few weeks later. The second time he sustained a graze wound, when a slug slashed the right side of his head, leaving a short, puffy scar. Ironically, it was the gunfights that led Green to less lethal boxing. [1] Later he moved to Jamaica, Queens, [1] where he reportedly quarreled with another Jamaica resident and talented amateur boxer Carl Williams. [2]

Green attended DeWitt Clinton High School while employed as a security guard. [3]

Amateur career

As an amateur he won the New York Golden Gloves four times (1976, 1977, 1979, and 1980) and compiled a record of 64 wins and 7 losses, with 51 wins by knock-out. Green won the 1976 Sub-Novice Heavyweight Championship and the 1977, 1979 and 1980 Heavyweight Open Championships. Green defeated Anthony Zampelli to win the 1976 title. In 1977 Green defeated Guy Casale for the title. In 1979 Green defeated Ralph Fucci for the Championship and in 1980 Green defeated Merlin Castellanos for the title. He suffered a decisive cut loss in the 1978 tournament, preventing him from winning a fifth Golden Gloves title.

He was also a two-time Intercity Golden Gloves champion. In 1977 he won the title by KO in round one over Calvin Cross and again in 1979 by a decision over William Hosea.

"I hit him with double rights twice, and he had to go down. But he didn't. He refused. I couldn't believe it. And I put a couple of left hooks right on the money. IT WAS A WAR."

Marvis Frazier on fighting Green. [4]

Mitch lost against Russian boxing great Igor Vysotsky in a 1978 matchup, and was considered a prospect for the 1980 Olympic Games (held in Moscow), but the U.S. boycotted the event, and Green also lost to Marvis Frazier in the quarterfinals of the Olympic Trials that year. He did, however, in the finals of the Eastern Regionals, manage to beat perennial contender Woody Clark.

In amateur competition Green also lost bouts to future world champions Greg Page and Tony Tubbs, though he did manage to beat Tubbs in the 1978 Sports Festival. Surprisingly, he also lost to future cruiserweight champion Alfonzo Ratliff in a 1980 New York−Chicago intercity matchup.

Green trained at the United Block Association Gym in New York City. At that time he was employed as a security guard. [5]

Highlights

In February 1979, Green was ranked #5 U.S. amateur heavyweight by the U.S. Amateur Boxers and Coaches Association. [6] He has quit his job to spend full time preparing for the 1980 Olympics. "I'm really getting it together. I'm taking time out so I can just think about boxing," he said. [7] In the beginning of 1980 he went to Tennessee, where he sparred with WBA world heavyweight champion John Tate, and Washington D.C., where he trained with Dave Jacobs, Sugar Ray Leonard's trainer. "I want to go pro right after the Gloves. I had wanted very much to go to the Olympics, you know, give those Russians a bit of New York. But now I'll just see if I can make a living at it," said Green. [1]

Professional career

Green turned pro in 1980, signing a contract with the rock promoter Shelly Finkel, whom he met at the 1979 New York Golden Gloves. As a professional, Green was one of NBC's "Tomorrow's Champions" (a group of Finkel's young pros, which also included Alex Ramos, Tony Ayala Jr., Donald Curry and Johnny Bumphus) [8] and was ranked as high as #7 by the World Boxing Council, and also in the top ten by the World Boxing Association. Green left Finkel after a year as a pro after a disagreement over payoffs. He was managed by Carl King, son of Don King, who was Green's promoter. [9]

Mitch was undefeated in his first sixteen bouts, which included a 1983 points win over the rugged Floyd "Jumbo" Cummings, and a draw with trial horse Robert Evans. His first loss was a twelve-round decision to future WBC champ Trevor Berbick in a bid for the United States Boxing Association title on August 10, 1985.

In March 1985, Green violently interrupted a pre-fight press conference of the Larry Holmes vs David Bey championship fight, claiming that he was a way better contender than Bey, and seeking for a clash with Don King's people.

Green vs. Tyson

"He's got great hand speed. He punches well and boxes well. Also, he's very mobile. It's the combination of those assets - not any one quality - that makes him an interesting opponent."

Jim Jacobs, Tyson's manager, on Green [10]

After a comeback win over Percell Davis he lost a ten-round decision to Mike Tyson in 1986 on HBO, in his most famous fight. In the buildup to the fight Green had complained bitterly of the disparity in purses between him and Tyson when a day before the fight, at weigh-ins, Green learned he was being paid $30,000 in comparison to Tyson's $200,000 for fight alone + $1 million deal for HBO live broadcast of 3 fights. He threatened to pull out of the contest, finally settling for being released from his managerial contract with King's stepson Carl in return for his short purse. [11] Green put up a stubborn showing during the fight despite losing a ten-round unanimous decision, and at one point managed to knock one of Tyson's gold teeth out, which landed in front of writer Phil Berger.[ citation needed ]

A week later Green was released from his contract by manager Carl King, who was criticized the previous week by Green for mishandling his career. [12]

Later years

Green had been scheduled to box James "Bonecrusher" Smith in December 1986 on the undercard of the Tim WitherspoonTony Tubbs world heavyweight title fight. However, when Tubbs dropped out claiming injury, Bonecrusher stepped in and won the title, leaving Green without a fight or payday. [13] Prior to that, Green appeared at the Witherspoon–Smith pre-fight negotiations, again threatening Don King. [14]

Green refused to box for many years and was in frequent trouble with the law. He finally returned to the ring in February 1993, then aged 36, against journeyman Bruce Johnson. Again complaining about his purse and his new manager, Green refused to throw any punches and argued constantly with the referee, until the exasperated ref stopped the bizarre contest in the third. [15]

Throughout the 1990s, Green sporadically came out of retirement, most notably in bids for the New York State heavyweight title, against fringe contenders Melvin Foster in 1994 and Brian Nix in 1998. A 1998 win over Mike Dixon was ruled a 'no contest' when Green tested positive for marijuana. A March 1996 contest with Shannon Briggs fell apart when Green pulled a gun on his manager.

Green was scheduled to fight James Broad for the NABF title in 1985, but dropped out of the fight for money reasons.

Late in his career, an aged Green held two spurious championships. He won the World Boxing Empire Super-Heavyweight Title with a twelve-round decision over Danny Wofford on March 9, 2002, and was proclaimed the Universal Boxing Organization Heavyweight Champion on June 24, 2005. He never defended either title. His last fight was a fourth-round knockout of Billy Mitchem on August 2, 2005.

Feud with Mike Tyson

Green was also known for an incident that began in the early hours of August 23, 1988, in Harlem. Tyson and some friends were shopping at Dapper Dan's, a Harlem clothing store. Green had heard that Tyson was in the area and found him, demanding a rematch. A scuffle ensued. Green allegedly threw a punch and Tyson responded with a punch of his own, closing Green's eye and requiring stitches to his nose. Tyson broke his hand in the incident and had to postpone his fight with Frank Bruno. Later, although a New York jury awarded Green $45,000 in damages in a civil lawsuit against Tyson, the sum did not cover the legal fees. Tyson later recounted his version of the fight in his book and Broadway show Undisputed Truth, as well as on his Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson podcast. [16] [17]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
27 fights19 wins6 losses
By knockout121
By decision75
Draws1
No contests1
No.ResultRecordOpponentTypeRound, timeDateLocationNotes
27Win19–6–1 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Billy MitchemKO4 (8), 2:14Aug 2, 2005 Flag of the United States.svg The New Daisy Theatre, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
26Win18–6–1 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Danny WoffordUD12Sep 3, 2003 Flag of the United States.svg Annandale, Virginia, U.S.
25Loss17–6–1 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Brian NixUD10Feb 10, 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Sportsfest Staten Island, New York City, New York, U.S.For New York heavyweight title
24Loss17–5–1 (1) Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Miguel OteroUD8Dec 9, 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Sons of Italy, Lake Worth, Florida, U.S.
23NC17–4–1 (1) Flag of the United States.svg Mike DixonSD8Jul 25, 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Sons of Italy, Lake Worth, Florida, U.S.Originally an SD win for Green, later ruled an NC after he failed a drug test
22Win17–4–1 Flag of the United States.svg Lou TurchiarelliTKO6 (10)Aug 18, 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Middletown, New York, U.S.
21Loss16–4–1 Flag of the United States.svg Melvin Foster UD10Feb 6, 1994 Flag of the United States.svg Melville Hilton, Huntington, New York, U.S.For vacant New York heavyweight title
20Loss16–3–1 Flag of the United States.svg Bruce JohnsonTKO3Feb 26, 1993 Flag of the United States.svg Total Sports Pavilion, Woodbridge, Virginia, U.S.
15Loss16–2–1 Flag of the United States.svg Mike Tyson UD10 May 20, 1986 Flag of the United States.svg Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
19Win16–1–1 Flag of the United States.svg Percell DavisUD10Jan 17, 1986 Flag of the United States.svg Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
18Loss15–1–1 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Trevor Berbick MD12Oct 8, 1985 Flag of the United States.svg Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.For USBA heavyweight title
17Win15–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Sammy ScaffTKO6, 1:41Aug 31, 1984 Flag of the United States.svg Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
16Win14–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Young LouisTKO6 (10), 0:49Jul 15, 1984 Flag of the United States.svg Municipal Auditorium, Kingston, New York, U.S.
14Win13–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Lynwood JonesTKO1 (10), 0:48Mar 21, 1984 Flag of the United States.svg Showboat Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
13Win12–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg James DixonPTS10Jul 17, 1983 Flag of the United States.svg Dunes, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
12Win11–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Floyd Cummings UD10Feb 16, 1983 Flag of the United States.svg Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.
11Win10–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Lon Dale FriesenKO2 (8)Feb 10, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
10Win9–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Grady DanielsUD8Aug 14, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Stouffer's Inn on the Square, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
9Win8–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Walter SantemoreUD6 Nov 6, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
8Win7–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Walter WareTKO1 (6), 2:48Feb 5, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
7Win6–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Willard DumasKO1 (6)Sep 4, 1982 Flag of the United States.svg Stouffer's Inn on the Square, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
6Win5–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Melvin EppsUD6Jun 21, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
5Draw4–0–1 Flag of the United States.svg Robert EvansPTS6Aug 2, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg The Great Gorge Playboy Club Hotel, McAfee, New Jersey, U.S.
4Win4–0 Flag of the United States.svg Lindsay PageTKO2 (6)Jan 22, 1981 Flag of the United States.svg Ice World, Totowa, New Jersey, U.S.
3Win3–0 Flag of the United States.svg Harold RiceTKO5 (6), 0:16Dec 20, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Kingsbridge Armory, New York City, New York, U.S.
2Win2–0 Flag of the United States.svg Johnny PittsTKO3 (6)Nov 25, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
1Win1–0 Flag of the United States.svg Jerry FoleyTKO1 (6), 1:44Aug 11, 1980 Flag of the United States.svg Stateline, Nevada, U.S.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Green learned on mean streets, by Tom Hanrahan, Daily News from New York, March 9, 1980, p. 65.
  2. Williams issuing stern warning to Bodzianowski, by Tom Hanrahan, Daily News from New York, April 5, 1981, p. 97.
  3. Heavy, 175, 160 Glovers' average age is 20 by Jack Smith, Daily News from New York, March 14, 1979, p. 69.
  4. No Easy Victory for Marvis by Ed Hinton, Philadelphia Daily News, June 17, 1980, p. 59.
  5. New York Golden Gloves Team Beats Chicago, 9‐2, New York Times
  6. Amateur Boxing Rankings (UPI,) Galveston Daily News, February 15, 1979, p. 59
  7. Olympic hopeful Green goes for 4th Gloves title, by Tom Hanrahan, Daily News from New York, January 11, 1980, p. 184.
  8. Katz, Michael (December 19, 1980). "Rise of Bronx Fighters: Gangs to Gloves; Eight-Round Feature Bronx Boxers Are on the Rise". The New York Times. p. 15. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  9. "Green Out to Regain Glitter". The New York Times. May 19, 1986. p. 5. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  10. Berger, Phil (May 19, 1986). "Tyson's Biggest Fight Is Over". The New York Times. p. 5. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  11. Berger, Phil (May 20, 1986). "Purse of $30,000 Angers Green". The New York Times. p. 5. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  12. "Starling Protests Bout". The New York Times. May 25, 1986. p. front page. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  13. Berger, Phil (December 14, 1986). "Smith Discusses Fighting, of All Things". The New York Times. p. 6. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  14. Berger, Phil (December 11, 1986). "Prefight Infighting In Need of a Referee". The New York Times. p. 29. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  15. http://deadspin.com/why-i-fixed-fights-1535114232
  16. Smith, Nick (14 November 2013). "Mike Tyson's Undisputed Truth – the book's 10 most astonishing claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  17. Tyson, Mike (19 November 2020). "Mike Tyson tells his Famous Street Fight Story with Mitch Green | Hotboxin with Mike Tyson". YouTube. Retrieved 26 November 2020.