The way Virgil Green sees it, he’s not yet the top junior welterweight boxer in the Northwest.
In October, he earned the Northwest Junior Welterweight belt by beating Jesse Isais by unanimous decision at the Clark County Events Center.
But a win over Oscar Andrade on Saturday in Shelton would be more significant to the 23-year-old Vancouver fighter.
“The way I see it, you’re not the champion until you’ve defended your title,” Green said.
This fight, one of seven on the card at the Little Creek Resort Casino, will be Green’s fifth as a professional boxer. He is 4-0, winning each match by unanimous decision.
The 27-year-old Andrade, from Los Angeles, is 7-0 as a pro with four knockouts. Their 140-pound fight is scheduled for six rounds and is being promoted as the co-feature event.
Green got his start in boxing as a teenager with the Vancouver Police Activities League. He now trains full time at Fisticuffs Gym in Vancouver, which currently is the home gym for seven professional boxers.
Another Fisticuffs fighter, Sammy Perez, also is on Saturday’s card. Perez (1-0) is scheduled to fight Aaron Acevado of Riverside, Calif., in a four-round fight between 130-pounders. It is the pro debut for Acevado.
Leonard Gabriel, a Fisticuffs founder and Green’s lead coach, said Saturday’s match will be the toughest test yet for the fighter.
Andrade is a left-hander who has fought on undercards for several major boxing events.
“In the first round, we’ll know what kind of fight were in,” Gabriel said. “We plan on being in for a tough, hard fight from the time the bell rings until the fight ends.”
Green is confident he is prepared for this test.
“My game has developed a lot over the last few months,” he said.
With each new fight, Green is learning he needs more than his quick feet and strong right hand if he is going to climb the pro boxing ranks.
“It’s like a chess match now for me,” Green said, explaining that he watches video of opponents and of some of the greats of the sport.
In a sport where fights are usually months apart, climbing the ladder is a test of patience as much as toughness.
“I’m not just a boxer when a match comes along,” Green said. “I’m a boxer 365 days a year.”