Winning at all costs: McCumby victory over George changed to no-contest, suspended for 18 months

By John J. Raspanti


It’s enough to make anyone who believes in fair play sick. Last week an article appeared on, stating the fight between Trevor McCumby and Donovan George last November in Las Vegas, NV., had been changed from a knockout victory for McCumby to a “no contest” after McCumby’s urine test revealed the presence of testosterone and testosterone metabolics. Both drugs are included on the prohibited list of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Nevada Commission.  


It was also discovered that after the weigh-in, McCumby received, over a six-hour period, an IN infusion of 50mi without informing the commission—which is also a no-no.


At first, McCumby denied using any performance enhancing drugs. He changed his tune after the results were in. The Nevada State Athletic Commission subsequently suspended McCumby for 18 months and fined him $3,750 for rule violations. The soonest he can return to the ring is May 26, 2018.


The question is: Was the fine and suspension tough enough? Boxing is dangerous. Fighters put their lives on the line every time they enter the squared circle. George, 33, is the father of two. His career has been winding down the last few years.


McCumby entered the fight undefeated in 23 fights, with 18 KOs. He was rising, while George had dropped five of his last eight. Yet McCumby felt he needed more than just his boxing ability to defeat George, a boxer who has faced much tougher competition.


I’ve interviewed George numerous times. He’s one of my favorite fighters, a guy who wears his emotions and his guts on his sleeve. George has always been a warrior—a fighter who will take three punches to land one. He eats punches like candy. He knows only one way to fight, and that’s aggressively.


George (25-7, 22 KOs) captured the USBA middleweight title six years ago by stopping Maxell Taylor in eight rounds. He subsequently lost the belt to Edwin Rodriguez in 2012.



His courage was never more evident than in that same year when he challenged Adonis Stevenson in Montreal, CN. Stevenson, a resident of Quebec, was cheered wildly during most of the bout. By the middle of the fight, most of the fans were shouting for George, who was floored five times during the contest. To the shock of many, George pulled himself up to rally in the middle rounds.  


The respect he received after the bout was nearly universal. 


George’s 13-year career has been filled with peaks and valleys. A disputed draw with David Alonzo Lopez in Chicago, Ill., his hometown, hurt him deeply. Three months later, he was knocked out by Caleb Truax.


George won the IBO super middleweight title in 2014 by defeating Dylan Davis.  A few weeks later, it was taken away when George was found to be taking an anti-inflammatory drug for an injured hand, but failed to declare it on a pre-fight application. George was devastated. 


He took a year off, debated his future, and returned against Sean Monaghan. George damaged his best weapon-his right hand in Round three against Monaghan. He hung in like grim death, absorbing blows, but refusing to give up. When the ringside physician suggested the fight be stopped, George pleaded with the doctor to be allowed to go out on his shield. The doctor acquiesced.


George has taken thousands of shots to the chin. He retired briefly last year, but came back.  His love for boxing is palpable. Not everyone understands the difficulty of being forced to give up something you love while in your early 30s.


Donavon George has nothing to prove. He’s had a good career. He’s spilled enough blood for five boxers.


On the other hand, Trevor McCumby has a lot to prove. His integrity will be on the line from now on. He needs to realize that his suspension and fine could have been worse. I’ve been told that McCumby and George were friends. Maybe they still are. McGumby can learn a lot from George. The Chicago native has never made excuses. He accepts consequences and moves on.


It’s called character.



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