By John J Raspanti: On August 23 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Ill, Don “The Bomb” George will meet Dyah Davis for the IBO super middleweight championship. George, who was born in Chicago, wants to win the title for his city, but most of all, the expectant father is motivated to provide for his growing family.
“This is huge,” George told Dennis Taylor of The Ringside Boxing Show a few weeks ago. “I’m very poor. I’m not able to keep a job when I’m training for a fight of this magnitude. My wife is seven months pregnant.
“August twenty-third is definitely the biggest night of my life. I’ve been doing this for ten years. I love my city. I’m finally getting an opportunity to make something out of my career instead of being some Chicago bum club fighter," he said. “The fact that my wife is pregnant gives me extra motivation to get out and run. All of this is lighting a fire under my ass.”
“The Bomb” always comes to fight. His style is simple. He’s moves forward and fires powerful punches,George is a throwback to the 1950’s when a fighter’s defense was merely an afterthought.
“Most of the guys I’ve fought have been better boxers than me,” George said. “But that doesn’t matter because I’ve got a lot of confidence in my right hand.”
That hand has produced 22 knockouts in 25 wins. Some boxers are built like tanks, but can’t break an egg.Where does the power come from?
“I believe that punchers are born and not made,” George said. “Look at (Gennady) Golovkin. He’s not scary at all, but he can really punch. I believe it’s all about technique. The tall skinny guys are the scary ones.”
Twenty four months ago, George was stopped by light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson in Montreal, CN. The bout was a title eliminator. Stevenson, a resident of Quebec was cheered wildly during most of the bout. However, by the middle of the fight, most of the fans were shouting for George, who was floored five times during the contest. To the shock of many, George pulled himself up and mounted a rally in the middle rounds.
"I saw my fiancée and my mother looking right at me worried,” George told this writer last year. “I thought to myself, you can’t quit in front of them. It was a crazy night, but I am not a quitter. I will never quit."
George has won two of four fights since the Stevenson loss, including a disputed draw at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. As he waited for his next opportunity, he had surgery on his right hand. Finally, a few months ago, his big break came.
“It all started with a random phone call to go fight for the vacant IBO title in Colombia, like a couple months ago,” said George. “I was going to take the fight on 12 days’ notice. I guess something happened. My opponent got injured and then the IBO said I signed the fight agreement so they honored it and let me fight (Dyah) Davis. All of a sudden the fight is at U.S Cellular Field in the biggest show of the year in Chicago.”
Does George know anything about Davis, the son of former Olympic gold-medalist, Howard Davis Jr.?
“I know he’s a boxer,” said George. “I think he’ll stick to his game plan. He’s probably a better boxer than me. A guy can’t run for twelve rounds. I figure he’s going to hold me, but while he holds me, I’m going to rip that body in half. I have to turn the fight into a war.”
The hardest time for any professional boxer can be the buildup to the match. For George, who’s been dreaming of fighting for a title all his life, the last few weeks have been excruciating.
“I wish I could be in the ring now," George said. "I’m so motivated and prepared. I’ve got a small group of people I trust. I can’t wait to get out there. I might even slip a punch.”
George wants an explosive win.
“I’ll be happy however I win, but with that being said, I always gun for the knockout. If he’s hurt,I’m going for broke.”
And that, in a nutshell, is Don George. He always puts it on the line.
Also fighting on August 23 will be undefeated super middleweight prospect Mike “Hollywood” Jimenez.
Jimenez (14-0, 10 KOs) was last seen in the ring over four months agowinning a unanimous decision over Lester Gonzales. The break in activity was something new for Jimenez, who also works full-time as an iron worker
“I needed it, “Jimenez told this writer via email. “It really came down to my body starting to get fatigued and worn down from taking a bunch of fights back-to-back. It was also taking a big toll on me mentally,” he said. "I would come to the gym and really have to motivate myself. I couldn’t wait for camp and the fight to be over with. My body and mind, really, just needed a little time off, and it helped a lot. I’m feeling great and better than ever.”
His opponent this coming Saturday has lost his last three bouts. Does having that knowledge matter to Jimenez?
“No, that doesn’t ever affect my outlook on a guy,” said Jimenez. “His last three opponents were some pretty good fighters. I always want to envision my opponent at his best. You can’t ever look past anyone in this sport. You can have a bad night, and anyone can always have a great night.”
Jimenez is thrilled to be fighting at U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox, but there’s more to it than that.
“I’m super excited about it,” Jimenez said. “I’m excited about the opportunity, about fighting in front of so many fans, about representing Chicago in U.S. Cellular Field, and fighting on the Card with my best friend, ‘Da Bomb,’with his big opportunity for a world title. It’s going to be a special night.”
August 22, 2014