By Jake Donovan
Donovan George didn’t just take the fight that nobody else wanted; he jumped at the chance to face Adonis Stevenson.
George is still willing to take the fight that nobody else wants, even if it means waiting until at least October for it to once again materialize.
But anyone who thought the Chicagoland fighter was going to sit around and idly wait for that fight to happen just doesn’t know Donovan George very well.
“This fight date is still very important to me,” George said of remaining on the August 17 ESPN2 Friday Night Fights season finale, even without Stevenson in the other corner. “It’s a live TV fight and I am facing a guy (Dionisio Miranda) who can punch and has been in with some top guys.”
The fight is the first for George (22-2-1, 19KO) since his points loss to Edwin Rodriguez in their HBO-televised super middleweight bout this past March. The aspiring contender agreed to face Stevenson on short notice after Andre Dirrell bailed on the fight.
George played his hand well, as he was already guaranteed an undercard slot on the fight’s originally scheduled August 11 show in Montreal. GYM Promotions kept the American on the card against TBA, in the event they’d need to slide him into the co-feature, which would have aired on Showtime.
The August 11 card was canceled after Jean Pascal suffered an injury while training for his main event against unbeaten light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud. George-Stevenson was moved to August 17 and eventually to the United States, only for the show to be cancelled after Stevenson suffered an injury of his own over the weekend.
There was little hope of finding a ranked contender in time for the fight to still carry the sanctioning of the IBF, who slated the Stevenson bout as a final eliminator. There were talks of rescheduling with Stevenson for mid-October – and in Quebec – and George is fine with it or any other big fight his handlers have in the works.
At the same time, there comes the need to remain active. George understands the risks – the bout with Miranda (21-7-2, 18KO) will just be a 10-round affair, with no alphabet sanctioning. Despite Miranda’s industry-wide notoriety as a spoiler, the Colombian has been out of the ring for over a year and hasn’t won since upsetting LaJuan Simon in Dec. ’10.
Still, the fringe contender has made his mark in and around the division. Unbeaten middleweight Peter Quillin has often cited Miranda as the biggest puncher he’s ever faced, surviving a 7th round knockout – the lone of Quillin’s career, to date – to take a unanimous decision in their June ’08 bout.
Miranda has lost more than he’s won in recent fights, in addition to the year-long inactive period. None of that means anything to George, who still views him as a threat and the latest obstacle to where he hopes to arrive in the very near future.
“This fight will not be a IBF eliminator, but of course I’m still taking the fight,” George states, as passing on the date was never an option. “I am a fighter, I just want to fight.”
A win on Friday will lead to an eventually rescheduled showdown with Stevenson, even if it once again means planning to cross the US/Canada border. George was already willing to do that when the fight was originally scheduled for August 11. He’s willing to do it again, but not until providing a fitting end to this year’s Friday Night Fights series.
“It’s funny how things work. The word is I will be fighting him in Canada within a few months depending on Friday,” George notes of how his opponent’s injury leads to that side dictating where the fight will take place. “My only focus is on Friday. Stevenson is the last thing on my mind.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox Tags: Donovan George