Chicago Prospect Patiently Making His Way Toward The Top
Over the years I have spoken with literally hundreds of young fighters. So many, I probably could not begin to name them all if you offered me tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers. You notice something about these young guy’s after a while. They all have the same three basic things to say when starting out.
They will tell you how good they are. How great they will become and how the sport has never seen anything like them before. Unfortunately, not everyone can be a superstar, but hey, if you don’t believe it is in you, who else is going to, right?
I have also come across my fair share of undefeated young prospects. So I tend not to let a winning record cloud my judgment on how the future will end up for them. Until they face a world class opponent, you just can not be certain on how things will turn out. Some prosper, some fold; it is the nature of this business.
One thing that I do go on is how they approach the game. Some guys and the team around them just want that quick money and the quickest path possible to the top, while crossing fingers that on the way things will work out in their favor.
Other guys want to take their time and make sure that when they do make it to the big game, it’s because they are ready and have truly earned it. The latter of the two, in my experience, are the ones who tend to have longevity. Knowing when you're able to run with the big dogs is a whole lot different than just jumping into the pack and hoping you don’t get eaten alive in the process.
Donovan George AKA Don "Da Bomb", falls into that latter category. The 22 year old Chicago native has one of the best outlooks towards a budding career I have seen in a long time. George, along with Mike Michaels and Cestus Management, have a thought out plan for the future.
They recently signed with Top Rank Promotions and on their first outing under the Top Rank banner, Donovan walked through Kendal Gould in less than a minute of round one, in a performance that I am sure put a smile on the face of George’s new promotional company.
With a team like Cestus behind him and Donovan’s father Pete George serving as his trainer, it would seem that he has all the support needed outside the ring to succeed inside.
Here is what the Super Middleweight prospect had to say about that and more exclusively to SaddoBoxing:
SaddoBoxing: Don, congratulations on your win over Kendall Gould a few weeks ago; How are you feeling? What’s next on the list for you?
Donovan George: "Thank you. I feel good, ready to get back in the ring in about a month or so. It was a great win for me. I mean, this was a durable kid who went the distance with Andre Ward. So for me to come out and put him away in less than a minute of round one was a great feeling."
SB: You recently signed with Top Rank; How does it feel to be with one of the top organizations in the game today? It must give you a boost knowing that a company like that see’s that much potential in you that they are willing to sign you so early in your career.
DG: "It’s a great feeling. I have trained hard. Boxing for me is a way of life. I don’t train just for up coming fights. I train all the time to make sure I am always in the best of shape. My management team Cestus had promised me that as long as I do what I have to, we will have success. Cestus came through on their promise. Now, we are signed with Top Rank. The rest is all on me. I am very excited."
SB: You're 12-0-1 (10) and if you keep on track, you could be in line for a title shot in about another 10 or so fights. If you had the choice, right now, on which of the champions that shot would be against when the time came, who would you pick?
DG: "I never call anyone out. I think it’s disrespectful. Especially to call out someone who has a belt. I am 12-0 right now. To name a champion would be disrespecting them. I have a long time before I earn the right to start saying who I want to fight.
"Don’t get me wrong, on the way to the ring I like to give a good entrance. In the ring I can act cocky a little bit but that is just part of the business. Outside of the ring though, I am not that type of guy. I am going to earn myself a title shot and when I do, I will fight which ever champion that shot comes against. I am respectful of other fighters no matter who they are. Especially champions."
SB: The super middleweight division is one that keeps growing. It is also one that has some great opportunities for a young fighter on the rise, yet at times continues to be nothing more than a stop over for many fighters. At 22 years old, most fighters are still trying to find the right weight class for themselves. As they get older, it becomes harder to maintain the same weight. Is this division one you see yourself staying at for any length of time or is it just a starting off point until you figure out exactly which weight class is going to be the most effective for you."
DG: "Eventually I will move up. I don’t think it will be any time soon, though. I am a late bloomer, so to speak. As time goes on, I am getting bigger and stronger the more I workout. I think eventually I will have to move up to light heavyweight, but right now I am comfortable here. I don’t have any problems making weight. I know I won’t be able to move down in weight. I’ll stay here as long as I can then more than likely finish my career as a light heavyweight."
SB: Right now you are still fighting six rounders, yet have only been to the sixth once and the fifth twice. It is about that time where you are going to start with eight and ten rounders? Are you ready to move up to those longer fights?
DG: "I am completely ready. I train to go the distance every time. I could go 8,10 even 12 rounds if need be. When I train I make sure it is for the distance. I don’t just train to go in and knock a guy out because your not going to do that every fight. I make sure I put the same effort into every aspect of my workouts."
SB: I only ask that question because in the past I have seen many a young fighter who has started off his career ending things early and when it comes time for the long haul, they fold out of sheer exhaustion."
DG: "I understand completely the importance of it. Like Mickey Ward say’s, if you train half assed, eventually it will come back to bite you in the ass. I am not going to let that happen to me. I am in the gym everyday. Even on my days off, I make sure I get in some type of workout."
SB: If anyone knows about being in shape and being able to go the distance, it is Mickey Ward. Let me ask you this; if we spoke five years from now, to the day, where do you think your career will be at that time?
DG: "You know, I have been blessed. I have all around good people working with me. I have my father in my corner, my management team treats me like family. They look out for my best interest. I can’t guarantee exactly where my career will be at that tim,e but I know I will have had success by then. With hard work and a good team behind me to help, I have high expectations on where my future is headed."
SB: So, you see yourself as a major player in the game by then?
DG: "I do believe I will be. Like I said, I always come to my fights ready. I can be a bit of a showman to make the fans happy. Of course, only time will tell but when I get to that point and I become a champion, I am going to make sure I am a good champion who defends his title often and to the best of my ability."
SB: If you could have fought in any other era besides this one, which would it have been and why?
DG: "I think the 1980’s, when guys like Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran fought. Just for the fact I would loved to have mixed it up with one of those guys. I think those guys were boxing at it’s best. I have lot’s of tapes of the fights from that era. They were some bad guys when up in that ring."
SB: Donovan, before we go, is there anything that you want to say to your supporters out there?
DG: "I just want to thank everyone for the support, all the guys at the gym that have helped me get to this point, the guys who were willing to spar with me and help me improve, even though they had finished their workouts and were tired, my management team for doing such a good job and always being there for me when I needed them. You know, it’s crazy, when I am back home people, recognize me on the street. Ask for autographs. It’s a great feeling."
SB: Donovan, thanks for your time. As always, on behalf of SaddoBoxing and myself, good luck in the future.
DG: "Thank you."
To read more about Donovan George or find out about his upcoming schedule, visit his management team at www.cestusmanagement.com for information