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Donovan George Moving to 160, Frustrated with Career

By Matthew Paras

Super middleweight contender Donovan George might not be a super middleweight much longer.
In a telephone interview with Maxboxing, George, 23-3-1 (20), said last Thursday that he intends to move down a weight class to middleweight. George currently has no opponent lined up but is eyeing a February ring return.
“The first fight back is going to be at 164 and then there’s going to be an honest effort to make 160,” George said. “I’m on a diet working with a nutritionist at MultiCare center and they’re helping me a lot.”
George is coming off an October loss to IBF mandatory Adonis Stevenson in which he was stopped in the 12th round. The Chicago-based fighter was dropped five times and suffered broken ribs in the process. Now completely healed, “Da Bomb” wants to return to the ring as quickly as possible. However, George expressed frustration in failing to secure an opponent or even a date.

“After a fight like that, all you want to do is get back in the swing of things,” he said. “I’m finding it so difficult to get a fight, big or small, anywhere – it’s not happening. It’s very frustrating.”
“I don’t care how significant it is,” he added. “I’ll fight for next to nothing. I just want to fight. These guys only want to put you on their card if you sell a bunch of tickets. You’re basically buying your own fight.”
Since the loss against Stevenson, George split with his longtime manager, Mike Michael. George told Maxboxing the split was mutual and there was no ill will. He still is, however, promoted by Warriors Boxing.
George also mentioned he wanted the late Emanuel Steward to be his next manager. The two briefly discussed the scenario when George was at the Kronk Gym back in May to help Andy Lee prepare for his fight against then-middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Like many, Steward’s passing caught George off guard.
“When Lee was training for the Chavez fight, [Steward] was fine. He wasn’t sick at all. We went out to a bar. He was having a drink. He was healthy,” George said. “All of a sudden, a month later, he was in the hospital. It was crazy. I wish I would spent more time with him…everything that came out of his mouth was magnificent. He was just a brilliant man.”
When training at Kronk, George said it was one of the best experiences he’s ever had. George fondly remembered the sparring sessions as “a lot different than the ones compared to Chicago. If you have Emanuel Steward there at ringside and watching you spar, you are trying to beat the sh*t out of the guy you’re sparring.
“There’s no working. It’s like an actual fight,” George continued. “All these guys were down there beating the sh*t out of each other, trying to impress Emanuel Steward. That’s how it should be; that’s how you should train. He’s got a very old-school look at boxing.”
Moving forward with his career, George’s move to middleweight was based on a suggestion of another trainer – John David Jackson. Jackson also gave George advice on how to become a better fighter after two key losses.
“I went to his camp in Florida and we were working on some things. [Become] more defensive-minded and [use] combinations because I tend to not throw any,” George said.
With the advice in mind, George has set his sights on a division where he thinks he could finally accomplish his goal of winning a title. “For once, I’d like to be the bigger guy. I’ve always been the smaller guy, fighting these monsters,” he said.
As George works his way toward the 160-pound limit, he just hopes to have opportunities to return to the ring in the first place. “Obviously, there’s going to be boxing politics but I’m in my 20s and in the prime of my career. All I want to do is fight.”
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