By Ben Jacobs
August 23 will be an opportunity for both Dyah Davis and Donovan George to relaunch themselves back into the frame on the road to a world title shot at 168lbs. The two men will battle for the IBO belt, but bigger fights down the line will surely be in mind for the victor.
Both boxers have been involved against top level opposition in recent times and they share common opponents in Francisco Sierra and Osumanu Adama.
Davis will be looking to bounce back from a unanimous decision loss against James DeGale in England last November. He will also be returning following an injury sustained in the fight which required surgery, but the South Florida resident told BoxingScene that everything is back to normal.
“It didn’t affect my career, it hindered my performance in the fight, for sure,” he concedes.
“I think it happened in the second or early part of the third round. DeGale and I were in a clinch, I was waiting for the referee to break us up and he threw a sneaky shot and I knew immediately my jaw was broken. I told my corner, they just said, ‘what do you want to do?’ I said, ‘I’ve trained hard for this fight, let’s stay in it.’ I had the surgery and the doctor says I’m good to go.
“I had some success against DeGale, but when the jaw injury happened it took me three or four rounds for me to get back into it mentally. But when I got hit with the slightest punch I kept thinking about the jaw. The only positive I could take from that fight is that I went 12 rounds with the injury.”
Fighting in a baseball stadium where the Chicago White Sox play is something that Davis admits to being an extra motivation. The card held at the venue last summer was exciting with both the Andrzej Fonfara – Gabriel Campillo and Artur Szpilka – Mike Mollo fights providing fireworks. Dyah will be hoping for something similar this year.
“I’m pretty excited, I’ve never even been to Chicago but I’m excited to be at the U.S Cellular Field. I saw a show there on ESPN and the crowd was electric. I saw a heavyweight fight, the electricity from the crowd was great.
“I want to win this fight, make a statement and be back in that mix at super middleweight.”
As a keen watcher of the sport as well as a participant, Davis is more than aware of his rival having watched him in the past. George’s well known punching power is something that he’ll be looking to keep an eye on in the ring.
“I’ve seen him on ESPN and other networks,” he continues.
“I’m familiar with him, his attributes and his weaknesses. So I’ll be taking advantage of his weaknesses and staying sharp on his good abilities.
“He’s been in more wars than I’d like to see myself in. Sometimes that competitive edge and dog inside of you can get you hurt. You have to be smart in this business. You’ve got to know when to fight and when to box.
“I don’t want to be in front of him for too long, my thing is to get my shots off and not be in a position where he can get his shots off. I definitely think I can stop him myself. People want to see knockouts. I’m fighting a guy in Chicago who is from Chicago so I’d like to get the stoppage if it comes. If not, I’d be very happy walking out of there with the win.”