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Continued: Aaron "Gorilla” Green: Punching faces and clocks

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 21, 2013 - 12:30 AM

In April, Green tweaked his Achilles’ tendon. A $300 out-of-pocket experimental treatment that was supposed to help him recover in six weeks has not worked. The problems have only compounded, creating a host of other issues.

“I thought I was going to have to end my career,” Green said. “I kept telling Pete, ‘I don’t know if I should take this, I don’t know if I should take this.’ ”

But fresh in his mind is the promise he made to himself years ago.

“I can’t quit,” he said.

In the ring

At the opening bell, Frazier comes in throwing punches. Green cups his gloves at his nose, deflecting the attack. He always spends the first round feeling out his opponent, but in this bout, his trainers are especially sensitive to early signs. Frazier is the aggressor; Green is retreating. Several rows beyond the ropes, a tall, blonde figure is standing, sticking out from the crowd.

“Keep those hands up, keep those hands up, watch the left hook!” Frances screams.

But midway through the fourth round, the momentum switches. Green lands two right hooks; Frazier’s pants are falling off. They dance to the middle before Green works his opponent into a corner. A right jab to the face connects; it’s enough to stun Frazier for a second, which is all Green needs.

He starts the battering — 19 punches before a bruised Frazier is able to escape. Before the fifth, referee Mark Nelson warns Frazier to show him something if he’s to keep the fight going. But Green attacks again, delivering a devastating blow to the liver. Frazier wails, and Nelson comes running in to stop the match as Green, smiling for the first time, lifts his gloves and gallops around the ring in victory.

Afterward, a combination of relief and exhilaration overwhelms the locker room.

“I was scared,” Daszkiewicz says. “I was scared because I knew that Aaron wasn’t comfortable with where he was at with that injury, and he was questioning himself.”

When the celebration calms, Daszkiewicz clears his throat.

“I wasn’t going to mention this before,” he says. “We’ve got a chance to fight on Sept. 21 up in North Dakota, and I’m going to say no.”

Green, who has consumed so many 5-hour Energy shots he surely wouldn’t sleep, shrugs. “I don’t know,” he says. “I think I might be fine.”

Daszkiewicz can only shake his head.

“You see this?” he says, half-incredulous, half-impressed.

A couple of hours later, as Bauch drives back to the hotel, she looks realistically at the fight offer and Green’s injury. “I don’t want him to take it,” she says. “It’s too soon.”

So much of Green’s future is still unsure, although promising. He’s built a foundation around his career; a barrier so that he’ll never have to take bad fights, as some boxers do. Still, there’s the call of passion, an obsession that never goes away.

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  • Video: Aaron Green: Finding security in boxing

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    A security guard by night and professional boxer training at Uppercut Gym in Minneapolis during the day, Aaron “Gorilla”...

  • Photo gallery: Boxer Aaron 'Gorilla' Green: Punching faces and clocks

    Tuesday August 20, 2013

    Aaron Green Makes a living as a boxer and a Security guard, Chasing fame in the ring that few...

  • Aaron “Gorilla” Green has only been a professional boxer since October of 2010, but he’s 12-0 with 10 knockouts. His team at Uppercut Boxing Gym helps fuel — and temper — his passion. “Probably the worst disease a person could ever get is the love of boxing,” trainer Pete Daszkiewicz said.

  • Aaron Green’s “other” profession is a security guard at the Double Tree hotel in St. Louis Park. Often, when his overnight shift ends at 7 a.m., Green goes directly to the gym to spar.

  • Aaron Green trains at Uppercut Boxing Gym in northeast Minneapolis. Uppercut founder/owner Lisa Bauch saw his second pro fight and couldn’t believe, despite Green and his trainer’s insistence, that he’d had only one previous fight. She’s now part of his management team.

  • Right, Green took a shot to the head from opponent Stacy Frazier during an Aug. 16 bout at Grand Casino Friday Night Fights in Hinckley, Minn. Later, (below) Green delivered punishing body shots to Frazier before the fight was stopped by TKO in the fifth round, keeping Green unbeaten.

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