Shaun George Speaks on Puzzling Friday Night Fight Performance - Headed Towards Retirement?
By Brandon Estrict, Doghouse Boxing (July 15, 2009) Photo ©  
Light-Heavyweight fringe-contender, Brooklynite now fighting out of Northern, NJ, Shaun George, 18-3-2 (9), made waves in the boxing world a little over one year ago when he dominated and stopped former Heavyweight Title-holder, Chris Byrd, in 9 rounds on ESPN 2’s Friday Night Fight’s series.

But in the ‘what have you done for me lately,’ ideology of the sport, you’re only as good as your last fight. Simply put, one year and two months removed from his potentially career-making victory, the
thinking is, that was then and this is now, or in the words of his fellow Brooklyn native and current Music Mogul, Jay-Z, “It was all good just a week ago…”

George was featured on last week’s edition of Friday Night Fight’s, live from The Arena in the storied city of Philadelphia, PA, matched against the tough but beatable, Chris “Hard Hittin” Henry in a bout that kicked off the televised portion of the card as the co-main event. Uneventful scrap between a tough-guy and a fighter a little better than that who should easily box and move his way to a decision victory, possibly even a late-round TKO?

Wrong! Folks (corny cliché coming on), this is why they fight the fights.

Round 1 went pretty much as expected, if not beyond expectation to some. George came out boxing, seemingly looking to land a something big, a counter-right hand more specifically which has always seemed to be Henry’s favorite snack, and predictably found those opportunities about a minute and a half into the round. George startled Henry with precise and powerful straight right hand which sent his stiffened legs scrambling for support from the nearest corner. Shaun followed up the barrage with a flush left-hook, and appeared to be on the verge of stopping Henry in the very first round of action. Henry who would escape trouble for that moment, was eventually staggered again, with another big right hand(you guessed it) in the closing moments of the round, but would remain in the fight as bell brought a much needed break in the action.

Round 2 is where the fun begins. Only, it wasn’t so fun for George, patrons of The Arena or even viewers across the country. As a matter of fact, the only people having fun from that point on were in the blue corner representing Team Henry. Henry was able to shake the cob-webs in between rounds, and was treated to a pleasant surprise as he approached center ring to begin the 2nd stanza; George was no longer landing right hands upstairs. Or downstairs. Or Left hands, or uppercuts, or hooks. In fact, George had stopped throwing punches altogether. It was as if he had something more important on his mind and decided to walk around the ring, away from Henry who was emboldened and constantly coming forward by this point.

Maybe George was simply attempting to out-do Willie Pep by not only winning a round, but an entire fight without throwing punches?

Whatever it was it didn’t work out for too long. George appeared to be a man in search of something, or somewhere better to be on a warm Friday Night, and a concussive overhand-right in round 6 was happy to grant his wish. George was down for the first time in the bout and though he was up after a mandatory eight-count, was in dire straits and clearly on the verge of, himself, being stopped. After another flurry that dropped him for a second time in the round, chief cornerman Tommy Brooks got up on the apron to make referee Steve Smoger aware that they were pulling the plug. For the 2nd time in his career, Shaun George was vanquished within the distance, but this time was far more puzzling.

What went wrong? George may not be a world-beater, but before the fight had taken place, and even reaffirmed within the first two minutes of action, he was seen to be a superior grade of fighter to his opponent, and that is with all due respect to Chris Henry. What happened, bluntly, George came out looking to get rid of Henry early and when that failed, seemed opposed to the idea of fighting, opting instead to wait on Henry to catch up to him.

For a man riding the momentum of putting a Heavyweight Champ on his ledger, on national television no less, he didn’t appear to be a hungry fighter. Something didn’t meet the eye, in my opinion at the very least, and I reached out to Shaun this past weekend to find out just what the problem was. Exclusively for Doghouse Boxing, here is what he had to say about the fight and his standing in boxing:

“I was injured. My right shoulder, my right thigh, and both of my hands. I couldn't pull out (of the fight) because I needed the money. I haven't been working. I only had one fight last year, and then (another fight) 5 months ago. Anyway, I'm done with boxing as a professional. I have to support my family, and it's too hard to come back. I'm too old.”

As of press time, it isn’t clear whether these were things said in frustration or this is really the end of the line for Shaun. In any case, Doghouse Boxing wishes Mr. George the best of luck in the future, whatever it may hold for him.

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