If adversity makes a fighter stronger, hard-punching Don “Da Bomb” George will feel like Hercules on June 21.
Three months ago, in his hometown of Chicago, Ill, George (24-3, 21 KOs) battled David Alonzo Lopez. For 10 rounds the fighters engaged, with George landing the heavier and more frequent blows.
He forced the action and staggered Lopez in round four.
The decision seemed obvious, but instead of a win, George had to settle for a draw.
“I'm not one to talk bad about anyone,” said George to this writer during a telephone interview last week. “But for the one judge to score the fight seven to three (in rounds) for Lopez - he should without a doubt be fired and shipped back to the amateurs.
“It's a joke. I don't want anything special or any handouts. But, I do want what I deserved and that was a clear win.”
Though he felt he won the fight handily, George, 28, was critical of his performance.
“I was a little slow and relied on my right too much,” he said. “I should have hooked more after my right and maybe I could have got him out of there.
“I know I am a better fighter than the way I fought,” he added.
George was trained by his father, Peter, his entire career. But for his upcoming fight in Minneapolis, Mn. on June 21 against Caleb Truax, (21-1-1, 12 KOs), televised on ESPN Friday Night Fights, ‘Da Bomb’ will have a new man in his corner.
"I was out here in Florida before but trainer John David Jackson was just in the gym,” George said. ”He wasn’t working with me. He’s going to be in my corner as my chief second for the fight against Truax.
“My father and I decided it was time for some help to get me to the next level and Jackson was a perfect fit. I'm learning every day and feel great,” he added.
Has he watched any tape of Truax?
“I saw him fight Taylor,” said George. “He looked good and has a nice right hand, but I have fought the much better competition. I am at a different level than him. I plan to expose that."
Speaking of a different level of fighter, George went toe-to-toe with newly-crowned light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson last year in Montreal, Canada. Floored five times, and eventually stopped in round 12, George managed to stun Stevenson on numerous occasions during the bout, gaining the undying respect of Stevenson and fight fans everywhere.
"You a f------ warrior, man," Stevenson told an emotional George after the fight. "Respect. Respect."
George moved down to the middleweight division after the loss. His fight with Truax will be his third at 160 pounds. He’ll also be a road warrior on June 21, a fact that doesn’t worry George.
“I’ll be looking for the knock out,” George said. “I don't want to take any chances if it goes to the judges in his hometown.
“I'm sure the Minnesota judges will favor their hometown boy, unlike the crooks in Chicago,” he added.
Boxing can be mentally debilitating. When certain victory is stolen, the effects can linger.
George has moved on from the disappointment of his last fight, but on June 21, his right hand might carry a little more dynamite.
John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at: firstname.lastname@example.org