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 Last update:  2/12/2012       Read more by David P. Greisman         
Donovan George: I Plan on Making Rodriguez Fight A War
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by David P. Greisman

You wouldnt expect Donovan George to promise anything less than the promise made in that headline.

Its not his style to do anything but go to war, and few expect his March 17 fight against Edwin Rodriguez to be anything but an entertaining battle. Theres a reason Georges nickname is Da Bomb. Theres a reason Rodriguezs nickname is La Bomba. And theres a reason their bout, on the undercard to Sergio Martinez vs. Matthew Macklin, is being marketed as Bombs Away.

The 27-year-old Chicago resident is 22-1-1, 19 knockouts. Rodriguez, a 26-year-old out of Worcester, Mass., is 20-0 with 14 knockouts.

George recently spoke with about the fight. How excited are you about fighting on HBO and in Madison Square Garden in whats your first time for each?

George: Its a dream come true for me to be able to fight on HBO. Growing up, watching HBO all the time with my dad, I thought, One day, man, hopefully I can be on there. The phone rang, and we got a great opportunity. Im fighting a tough kid, and I know its going to be a great fight.

And to top it off, its at the Garden, too. Its just a dream come true. The Mecca of boxing. I was supposed to fight there five or six years ago, and I waited, and my opponent failed his EKG [medical test]. It was also on St. Patricks Day, the John Duddy undercard. It was a big deal for me. I was so devastated that I didnt get to fight. Now I get to fight there on St Patricks Day and on HBO. Its a dream come true. What extra pressure, if any, comes with knowing that your fight is on HBO and at the Garden?

George: This is a must-win, a must impress fight for me. I cant just go out there and try to get a solid win. I got to impress. I got to showcase all my skills and talents and be exciting. If anybodys ever seen me fight, they know that Im not the boxer. Im not going to be slick. I got to go out there and make it my fight. Its going to be exciting. You and Rodriguez fought on the same card back in April 2010. I dont know how closely youve been keeping of him, but what do you see when you size him up?

George: We were on that same card in Chicago. We both had good wins on Showtime. Ive been following his career like I do every super middleweight. Hes been brought along good. Hes beaten some really good fighters. His last fight, he beat an undefeated guy. Hes fought some big names. Hes got some rounds. From what I hear about him, hes a good guy and a great fighter.

But come fight night, its him vs. me, and I dont care about any of the press or any of the publicity that hes had in the past of how hes the second coming. I just want to go out there, Im going to fight my best and Im going to win. How do you think youve improved since that night?

George: I fought [Osumanu] Adama that night, and that was one of my toughest fights and one of my best fights. Adama is moving on, hes fighting for a world title now in Australia [against Daniel Geale]. I beat a really tough guy that night. After that fight, I had a setback, I lost, and then I showed the world what I was made of after my loss. I came back and fought a guy who was 16-0 with 15 knockouts, Cornelius White, and I destroyed him in a [round]. Not many fighters bounce back like I did.

First off, I learned never to take anybody lightly, always be in top shape. I feel my conditioning is better now than ever. I always thought that I was in the best shape possible, but then I realized how much more I could push myself and how much more I could get out of myself. Thats a huge thing. Getting tired cannot be an option.

My father is working a lot on my defense and my counter-punching, which obviously needed improvement. As long as Im improving every fight, and Im getting better every day in the gym, I feel like I got a great chance to beat Rodriguez. A lot of people are expecting this to be a war. You guys have similar nicknames Da Bomb and La Bomba, and theyre calling your fight Bombs Away and were all familiar with your styles. Is a war also what youre expecting?

George: Yeah, absolutely. I could go on the record and say Im going to box smart and pick my shots, but I know Im not. Im going to go out there and Im going to fight my ass off. Im going to be in the best shape possible. If its a boxing contest, he got a slight advantage. Hes got a little more of an amateur pedigree than me, and if you watch his fights hes a little slicker than I am. But if it comes down to a war, I feel like I have the advantage. Thats what I plan on making it. Whats your prediction on whatll happen in the fight?

George: Im going to win. Thats all. Im not going to disrespect Rodriguez and say Im going to blow him out or anything, because hes a good fighter and hes shown that he can fight at a high level. Also, Ive read a lot of his interviews and he seems like he has a lot of class, and Im not going to sit here and take shots at anybody.

This is a business. Im fighting for me and my family, and Im sure hes doing the same, so the best mans going to win. I believe its me, and Im going to do everything in my power possible to win this fight. Im going to lay everything on the line. Im willing to do whatever I have to, to win this fight. This is my chance.

I know Ill never be a great fighter or be in the Hall of Fame. Im a realist. But maybe on the 17th I can show a little bit of greatness that night. Im never going to be a great fighter, but I think I have it in me to have a great performance. What does a win over Rodriguez on HBO at Madison Square Garden on March 17 do for your career?

George: I think its going to have to catapult me to at least another big fight on HBO or a title shot. I really dont know which one Id rather have. Either/or sounds great to me. Obviously at the end of the day were all doing this because we want to accomplish something in our lives, and I want to be a champion, and thats what I want to be known for.

But also I have to take care of my family. Another big fight on HBO would definitely mean some financial security for me and my family. Thatd be great. I didnt go to college. Im not going to be a doctor. I need to take care of things in some other ways I just have a girl and two dogs. She wont have kids with me until I quit boxing. What else do you want tell people?

George: I know I have a lot of people from Chicago who are coming out there. I should have a few hundred people from Chicago. Theyre all going to be sitting on one section. It feels great. I got so much support in my community right now. And especially the Irish people out there in New York, being half Irish, its a big thing on St. Patricks Day. I promise to train the best I can and make myself the best fighter possible and put on a great show that night. The fight being St. Patricks Day and the fact that you probably cant drink until after the fight whats the first beer you get yourself after you leave the ring March 17?

George: Thats a great question. You would expect me to say Guinness, but I cant stand Guinness at all. Theres this beer on the market, called Delirium. Its like 10 percent alcohol, and it is awesome. I will definitely have a few of those after my fight. Its a Belgian Ale. Its awesome. Youve got to try it.

David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at or on Facebook at, or send questions and comments to

Tags: Donovan George , Edwin Rodriguez , Rodriguez-George , Rodriguez vs George


 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by Silencers, on 02-12-2012
Two guys who come forward and throw power shots, the guy with the better arsenal wins and I think that guy is Rodriguez, he's just better all around, that George can do, Rodriguez can do better.

comment by RlCKY, on 02-12-2012
[QUOTE=Scott Dennett]George stated last week in a conference call for the fight that when he's not training he watches sports on TV all day....and plays poker 4 times a week. Now he says his "family" that he is fighting for is his girlfriend and two (2) dogs. Rodriquez is ready for whatever war...

Rodriquez Versus George - is Man Versus Boy
comment by Scott Dennett, on 02-12-2012
George stated last week in a conference call for the fight that when he's not training he watches sports on TV all day....and plays poker 4 times a week. Now he says his "family" that he is fighting for is his girlfriend and two (2) dogs. Rodriquez is ready for whatever war George will bring. ...

comment by Cloud, on 02-12-2012
I'm hoping for a Don George win.

Post A Comment/View More User Comments (4) 

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