“Whoever, wherever, whenever.” “Mean” Joe Greene
Junior middleweight contender “Mean” Joe Greene has heart.
It’s what kept him in a rough sport before he knew how to fight and it’s what has kept him focused during a long and agonizing period of inactivity due to promotional problems.
The once-beaten (26-1, 17 KO’s) New Yorker is now back in action with a new promoter and the same old desire for greatness he’s had since childhood.
“When I was younger my father took me to the gym with him to watch my uncle who used to box,” explains Green. “I used to run around a lot and he figured since I was there so much, I might as well start boxing.”
Greene admits that at first he was… a little green. “My first time in the ring I had a lot of heart, so I knew that all I had to do was learn was the skills and I could be good.”
He was right. Greene won nearly every amateur title possible, including the 2004 National Golden Gloves, on his way to a 250-10 record.
The 5′ 10″ southpaw made the decision to turn pro after losing in the Olympic trials to (now top contender) AndrÃ© Dirrell. “Being in the pros has taught me to box a little better as opposed to being a brawler. I know how to move around and use my speed and my legs better than I did in the amateurs, but it’s my punching power and my hand speed that make me so good at what I do.”
Greene’s father, Joe Greene Sr., has been his longtime trainer, along with Havoc Boxing’s Andre Rosier. Father and son enjoy a very close relationship. “He’s been in my corner since I first started. We are very close in and out of the gym.”
The elder Greene agrees. “We’re best friends. We go to the mall together. We wear the same clothes. In fact, he collects expensive shoes and when he’s done with a pair, I’ll wear them too. In the gym it’s business, but when we out we go to IHOP together.”
Being a father, Greene says he can tend to develop tunnel vision at the sight of his son being hit. “Sometimes when he fights, I become comatose where I only see if he gets hit. I don’t see when he hits someone. Sometimes he could knock somebody out and I’ll turn and say ‘what happened?’ I become blind to what he does and only see him getting hit. That’s the love between me and him that doesn’t let me recognize how he’s progressing sometimes.”
It would seem that all the Greenes have big hearts.