By Jake Donovan
Donovan George never had reservations about fighting Adonis Stevenson in Canada.
George was signed on to fight as a replacement in the event that Andre Dirrell pulled out of the proposed August showdown, which turned out to be the case. He was fine with the fight being relocated to the states.
He eventually got over his disappointment when Stevenson suffered an injury, postponing the bout two months to Friday. Nor was it of any concern when it was moved back to the Bell Center in Montreal, where it will air live on Wealth TV (Friday, 9PM ET/6PM PT).
All that matters to George is getting the opportunity, as a win puts him in title contention.
“The hard work is over. I made the weight and trained super hard,” George (23-2-1, 20KO) said hours after weighing in at 167.2 lb, well within the 168 lb. super middleweight limit for Friday’s title eliminator. “(Friday night) I’ll have fun out there and win.”
George played the postponement smart, accepting a stay-busy fight rather than sit on his HBO-televised loss to Edwin Rodriguez earlier this year.
With Stevenson pulling out of the planned ESPN2 Friday Night Fights telecast in August, George played with house money and accepted a late assignment against Dionisio Miranda. The move proved wise, as George won by 6th round stoppage in a bout that was well-received by those who tuned in to ESPN2 that evening.
The 35-year old Stevenson (18-1, 15KO) has two fights in 2012, but hasn’t fought since April and has only registered just over six total minutes of ring action on the year. Quick knockouts over Jesus Gonzalez and Noe Gonzalez were eye-catching, but also did little to keep the Canadian puncher active.
Still, the Chicago-based George believes an uphill battle awaits as he travels north of the border.
Much to his surprise, he was met with a warm reception when arriving in town earlier this week. Now he hopes to return the favor by offering a surprise of his own.
“It turns out a lot of these people out here are supporting me,” George reveals. “They are great fight fans here. I am here to win and to win by knockout.”
The winner will be in line for an eventual title shot against super middleweight alphabet titlist Carl Froch. The Brit faces Yusaf Mack later this year and then embarks on a road trip to Canada himself as he faces Lucian Bute in a contractually-obligated rematch next March.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox