By Jake Donovan
Donovan George’s biggest year of his pro boxing career has hit a snag that could potentially alter his immediate future.
The Chicagoland super middleweight has been placed on suspension by the Illinois Boxing Commission, with his August 23 win over Dyah Davis changed to a no-contest.
Specifics behind the ruling have yet to be revealed by the commission, other than having contacted all relevant parties.
“We have been informed by the Illinois Commission that the fight was declared no contest and Donovan George suspended,” confirmed Ed Levine, president of the International Boxing Organization (IBO), whose super middleweight title was at stake in the aforementioned bout.
The Illinois Boxing Commission declined comment on the matter, as specifics regarding the suspension are classified (for the moment) as confidential information.
According to promoter Bobby Hitz, head of Hitz Boxing and who served as lead promoter for the August 23 event at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, George tested positive for an anti-inflammatory medication he failed to disclose while filling out his pre-fight medical forms.
"Don hurt his hand about 10 days before the fight," Hitz confirmed. "He was taking an anti-inflammatory for the sake of going through with the fight. There was a little box on the application that asks if you are on any prescription medication. Don forgot to check the box, and now the Illinois Commission is trying to screw him over."
George managed a unanimous decision win , despite having to fight through a broken hand - the same hand he injured prior to the fight. The win netted the 29-year old his first significant title, coming at a time while he and his wife are expecting twins in November.
In regards to boxing, the biggest news of his career came earlier this month, when George signed on to face former lineal light heavyweight king Jean Pascal on December 6 in Montreal.
That bout could now be in jeopardy, unless George is able to have his suspension lifted, temporarily or otherwise.
"It's ridiculous. This entire commission is incompetent," Hitz said of his friends in office in Illinois. "I can't wait until a new governor is elected, get rid of everyone and bring in some people that understand the sport and don't go on a witch hunt for something ridiculous.
"Here you have the kid, he hurts his hand and could've easily pulled out of the fight. He could've screwed (Davis) and the IBO out of a payday, screwed over the fans who came to see him fight. Instead, he's a throwback fighter who wanted to fight through the pain. If I knew his hand was seriously damaged, I wouldn't have allowed him to fight. He assured me he could fight, and did the best he could. The kid's got balls, but now he's being punished for doing the right thing and deciding to fight."
Should the current ruling stand, George’s record will move to 25-2-2-1NC (22KOs).
Heading into 2014, the 10-year ring veteran managed just two wins in his past six contests. Included among the setbacks were: a 10-round decision loss to Edwin Rodriguez in their March ’12 clash on HBO; a 12th round knockout loss to Adonis Stevenson in their Oct. ’12 super middleweight elimination bout; and a 6th round stoppage at the hands of Caleb Truax last June, when George foolishly tried to shrink down to middleweight before moving back up the scale.
George rebounded earlier this year, earning a 6th round stoppage over Troy Lowry in a stay busy bout in April. The clash with Davis came only after George was barely informed that his scheduled showdown versus Alexander Brand was canceled at the last minute.
Efforts seeking comment from George went unreturned.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox