The CBZ Newswire

Donovan George Stops Maxell Taylor, Wins Vacant USBA Crown!

by on Apr.02, 2011, under Boxing News

By Juan C. Ayllon
Photos by Belle

Donovan George celebrates his win as referee Genaro Rodriguez intervenes.

Donovan George celebrates his win as referee Genaro Rodriguez intervenes.

CHICAGO, April 1, 2011 – Several thousand at the UIC Pavilion erupted in cheers when hometown boxer, Donovan “Da Bomb” George, was introduced by tuxedoed ring announcer Thomas Treiber.  Thirty minutes later, the fight throng roared as a new champion was born.   

Across the ring stood Maxell “The General” Taylor, a rugged, ebony hued fighter with an elongated, triangular beard and a long suffering expression of a hardened man aged beyond his years, who wasn’t impressed by some young upstart slugger.  At 166.5 lbs. and a record of 15-2-1 and 6 knockouts, he’d never failed to go the distance. 

  With his record of 21-1-1 and 18 knockouts (168 lbs.), George started out the first round unusually cautious, walking in behind a high guard.  Stepping up his attack at about the two minute mark, he knocked Taylor back on his heels with a stiff right and whipped in rights and lefts to the sides and head of Taylor, who seemed to take it all in stride. 

“Move your head – upper body movement,” urged his father, Pete George.  “Put a right hand between the gloves, son!”

Kicking it into gear in the second, George slammed hard rights up the middle, but was repelled with a sharp counter right to the head and another to the midriff.  Nonplussed, George ripped hard hooks to the body and short rights over and under.  Taylor was making a fight of it with stinging, stiff counters, prompting Pete George to say, “Keep your hands up, son!” However, he was running second best in a contest of two.

First, the jab...

First, the jab...

And, then, the right cross!

And, then, the right cross!

George was getting a good workout in the third stanza, drilling his foe with sharp blows and working out the kinks in his defense for tougher foes ahead.  This one stood up fine to his punishing blows and fired back enough sharp lefts and rights to keep him on his best. 

Taylor (left) and George slug along the ropes as referee Genaro Rodriguez looks on.

Taylor (left) and George slug along the ropes as referee Genaro Rodriguez looks on.

“Keep up that tight defense,” Pete George exhorted early in the fourth round.  “After the right, throw the hook to the body!  Move your head, keep your hands up high!”
 
They grappled in close and traded blows one moment.  The next, George ripped hooks into the ribs of Taylor, who hung tight onto his left arm.  Seeking a brief respite, Taylor dug a low blow, drawing a warning from referee Geno Rodriguez.  Resuming, George pummeled him in a corner, drawing cheers at rounds end.

Taylor (right) attacks.

Taylor (right) attacks.

As the two grappled and traded in close in the sixth round, a sneaky right over the shoulder caused Taylor to lean to the side and close his eyes, perhaps in anticipation of what lay ahead.  “Oh, what troubles I’ve seen,” he seemed to sigh.  Slowly, the assault grew in intensity, forcing him to hold more.  This wily pro was running out of tricks as the blows rained down.

Moments after another exhortation to keep his hands up, George dropped his guard.  Just like that, Taylor caught him with a sneaky right to the head.  And then the oddest thing happened:  “Da Bomb” did this funny step around, 360 degree rotation. Sensing he was hurt, Taylor pounced with both fists.  However, George was fine, covered, and resumed his attack.  Taylor remained competitive, but try as he might, he still lagged behind.

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Donovan George drops Taylor as Geno Rodriguez jumps in

Donovan George drops Taylor as Geno Rodriguez jumps in

In the fateful eighth round, the punishment caught up with Taylor.  A preponderance of lefts and rights caused him to slump forward and collapse to the mat.  However, he rose – even punched back.  But, it was to no avail.  The avalanche of blows crescendoed and, as his head snapped back repeatedly under the concussive blows, referee Genaro Rodriguez jumped in and halted the bout at 2:05 into the eighth round, garnering Donovan George the USBA Super Middleweight Title.   A boyish smile of pure joy creased George’s face as he celebrated his win.

George pummels Taylor moments before Rodriguez halts the bout.

George pummels Taylor moments before Rodriguez halts the bout.

A mixture of exhaustion and relief crosses George's face for a moment as his victory sinks in.

A mixture of exhaustion and relief crosses George's face for a moment as his victory sinks in.

Afterwards, he announced, “Tonight, I am retiring a champion. “ Stunned silence and murmuring followed, and then laughter as he said, “’April fool! I’m not retiring.  Are you crazy?”

As Cestus Management's Mike Michael (far left) and his father, Pete (just to the left of Donovan) look on, George fields post-victory questions from ring announcer Thomas Treiber.

As Cestus Management's Mike Michael (far left) and his father, Pete (just to the left of Donovan) look on, George fields post-victory questions from ring announcer Thomas Treiber.

A proud Donovan George poses with his new belt around his waist.

A proud Donovan George poses with his new belt around his waist.

George shares a moment with his girlfriend.

George shares a moment with his girlfriend.

 

Donovan George poses with a couple new fans.

Donovan George poses with a couple new fans.

The Undercard:

Kovalev knocks down Fogle.

Kovalev knocks down Fogle.

 In the co-main bout, Chelyabinsk, Russia’s Sergey Kovalev (174 lbs., 13-0, 11 KO’s) made quick work of willing, but unable Cary, North Carolina’s Julius “Knocking Out Bums” Fogle (173 lbs., 15-6, 10 KO’s).

Standing in that very upright, European stance, Kovalev dominated Fogle in the first behind a high guard and a steady diet of jabs and crosses. 

A right to the chin in the second round caused a little flutter in Fogle’s step, and an accumulation of blows capped with a left hook to the side of the head dropped d him.  Rising, he struggled to remain upright, first covering and then firing back with desperation rights.  It was no good.  A final flourish, capped by a right to the head, finished it.  Referee Celestino Ruiz counted Fogle out at  1:16 into the second round. 

Speaking afterwards through a cornerman who served as interpreter, Kovalev said, “I was very happy to win the fight.  I will continue to work hard to improve my career.  Thanks to the audience for your support.  I hope you enjoy my work.”

Mendez (left) and Loya slug away at close quarters.

Mendez (left) and Loya slug away at close quarters.

Chicago’s Genaro Mendez (1345 lbs., 3-0-1, 2 KO’s) survived several scary moments and slugged valiantly, but came up short against Phoenix, Arizona’s Javier Loya (134 lbs., 3-0, 3 KO’s) in an entertaining scrap.

Wasting no time getting into a brawl, Mendez was dropped to his haunches by a stunning right to the chin.  Popping up quickly, Mendez reengaged, but was dropped again with a right to the jaw along the ropes.  On the cusp of being knocked out, Mendez shoved an off balance Loya into the ropes and stepped around him.  “Keep that [expletive] right hand up,” shouted a cornerman. “Don’t stand in front of him!”  Surviving the onslaught, Mendez ripped some hard lefts and rights of his own and was fighting back on even terms by the end of the round.

Once again taking punishment in a corner in round two, Mendez threw Loya down, drawing a warning from referee John O’Brien.   Mendez fired off a deluge of rights and lefts upon reengagement, stunning Loya, but also leaving himself wide open to return fire.

Referee John O'Brien looks on as Loya ducks under Mendez's right.

Referee John O'Brien looks on as Loya ducks under Mendez's right.

“Keep your hands up!” shouted a supporter.  A hard right hook spun his jaw.  Several hard, glancing rights thumped off the top of his head moments later.  Standing directly in front of his adversary, Mendez was perilously close to getting nailed again.   

“Step around him, G!” shouted a Mendez cornerman in the third, as thumping lefts and rights pasted him about the head.  Once again, he threw Loya to the mat, drawing yet another warning.  Mendez rallied, but also caught some dangerous counters.  A wide left hook sent spray flying from his head.  This was Mendez’ round, but a right to the chin at the bell – followed by a Mendez right – signaled that he was far from out of the woods. 

In the fourth and final round, an inspired Mendez rained lefts and rights on Loya, who ducked and loaded up on single lefts and rights.  Some landed.  Most didn’t.  And Mendez kept punching – and standing in front of his opponent.  To his credit, however,  he also moved his head and stepped out of range enough to pull out the final round. It was too little, too late, as scores were 39-38, 38-37 and 40-34 for Loya. 

After, Mendez said, “He was a strong kid!  He dropped me two times.  I thought I won the other rounds, but…” He smiled, shrugged his shoulders and walked back to the dressing room.

Joe Linenfelser (left) pursues a retreating Jeremy Marts.

Joe Linenfelser (left) pursues a retreating Jeremy Marts.

Rockford, Illinois’ Joe Linenfelser (152 lbs., 8-1-1, 6 KO’s) and Ottumwa, Iowa’s  Jeremy Marts (154 lbs., 6-10, 4 KO’s) pitched an entertaining battle, with the former prevailing over the distance.

The scrappy Marts started out hard, throwing hard, snapping lefts and rights that landed mostly on gloves and shoulders in the first round.  One right that got through snapped Linenfelser’s head back.  Linenfelser kept his composure, stalked and landed a pair of potent rights to the chin – the latter buckling Mart’s knees – moments before the bell. 

After catching a grazing right to the chin early in the second, Linenfelser sent Marts stumbling to the ropes with a straight left and had him holding on.  The momentum had shifted.  He unloaded with volleys of lefts and rights, but a ducking and weaving Marts survived the onslaught. The two traded a few blows before the bell sounded.

In between rounds, Trainer George Hernandez advised Marts, “Keep moving forward!”

“Body and head, Jeremy!” shouted Mart’s corner in the third round, as he retreated and absorbed rights on the ropes.  However, he began trading more.  As the two tangled, Marts threw Linenfelser to the mat.  Referee Celestino Ruiz halted the action as he had Mart’s corner rinse out his mouthpiece.  The bell rang moments later.   

As Linenfelser peppered his charge in the fourth, George Hernandez shouted to Marts, “Keep moving in on him – work your way in.  Stay close to him and work your way in!”  Taking head, Marts turned the tide, winging in looping shots to the ribs and single shots to the head. 

Marts was in charge starting off the fifth, working over and under as his opponent sought to pierce his guard with lead rights.  Perhaps out of desperation, Linenfelser dug a hard right to Marts’ cup, prompting Ruiz to call a momentary halt and warn him to “keep them up!”  An energized Linenfelser ripped away at head and body. 

“If you want to win this fight, you’ve got to throw the right hand and stay in close!” shouted Hernandez to Marts between rounds.

The sixth kicked off with Marts pressing the action and Linenfelser jabbing, crossing and circling.  A shot to the body dropped Marts for a long count of six (Linenfelser circled the ring rather than remaining in a neutral corner, prompting Ruiz to shoot a warning glance at him).  Linefelser kept on him, battering the ribs. Marts went down from the accumulated damage and took an eight count.  A lfet to the ribs visibly hurt Marts again. Wilting, Marts summoned up precious reserves, fired off several ponderous rights, and managed to stave off the swarming Linenfelser at the bell. 

Judges scored the bout 60-52 and 58-54 twice for Linenfelser.  Afterwards at ringside, a smiling Marts shrugged and said, “I should have worked harder!”

Santiago (left) thumps Bokhart.

Santiago (left) thumps Bokhart.

Chicago’s Luis “Sito” Santiago (148 lbs., pro debut) did not let the herky-jerky movement of opponent,  Mishawaka, Wisconsin’s William Bokhart (146.5 lbs., 0-4), deter him from his mission.  He dropped Bokhart three times with drilling hooks to the body, forcing referee John O’Brien to wave off the bout at 2:58 into the first round.  Afterwards, a smiling Santiago said, “He was a tough guy,” but he agreed that his hook was too much for Bokhart to handle. 

Correa (right) and Linenfelser mix it up along the ropes as referee Celestino Ruiz looks on.

Correa (right) and Linenfelser mix it up along the ropes as referee Celestino Ruiz looks on.

Hammond, Indiana’s Jeremias Correa (128 lbs., 1-0, 1 KO) and Rockford, Illinois’ Anthony  “The American Assassin” Linenfelser (129 lbs., 2-2, 2 KO’s) pitched a crowd-pleasing preliminary war.   It didn’t take long for the two to eschew finesse for all out slugging in the first, with he right handed Linenfelser favoring huge rights and southpaw Correa the right hook and straight left.  Linenfelser scored first, dropping Correa with a right to the chin.  Taking a standing eight count, Correa resumed cautiously behind a high guard, then held to clear his head.  Covering better, Correa began scoring regularly with a sweeping left hook to the head while taking little flush in return.  One such left sent a long sliver of spittle from Linenfelser’s mouth and another at the bell jarred him and drew a glove tap of respect.

Moments into the second, a Linenfelser right drew a large, collective ooh from the crowd.  However, after a flourish, Linenfelser seemed gassed as Correa drove him into a corner and ripped lefts and rights to head and body.  The pace slowed as Correa spent his load.  The two took turns, but Correa had a distinct advantage, batting Linenfelser with well-placed shots to head and body. 

Correa spent a little too much time with his back to the ropes in the third round.  However, Linenfelser was unable to take full advantage.  Recharged, Correa snapped Linefelser’s head back with several uppercuts and jostled him about with thumping lefts and rights like a baby giraffe riding a bucking bull.

Correa blinked from a clash of heads in the fourth, prompting referee Celestino Ruiz to call a momentary halt to the action.  Resuming, Correa tore into him with lefts and rights  to the body.  Clearing the ropes, Linenfelser jarred him with a right to the chin and it was he who rained down the blows.  Diving forward, Correa slugged in close and did his best to avoid return fire.  The two slugged away with wonton abandon as the crowd cheered lustily. 

Judges scored the bout 39-37 unanimously for Correa who, afterwards said, “I’m very disappointed with myself.  This is my first time fighting in Illinois and with eight-ounce gloves.  It makes a big difference.”

Valenzuela (left) and Choulute tangle up.

Valenzuela (left) and Choulute tangle up.

In the opening bout of the night, Ramon Valenzuela (160 lbs., 3-0, 1 KO) defeated William Choulute (161.5 lbs., 0-0-4) over the distance.  
Valenzuela dominated the first with some jarring rights to the head and a little body work.  Choulute  jarred with a quick right uppercut in close, but Valenzuela knocked him back several steps moments later in the second.  Piling up points with his more effective aggression, Valenzuela circled to his right from his more muscular opponent, recharged his batteries, and boxed carefully before mounting a concerted flourish of thudding lefts and rights to the head to close out the round.

Valenzuela maintained the superior work rate, banging the head and ripping to the body in the third round. A potent left hook to the head drew oohs from the crowd. What counters Choulute landed did not seem to bother Valenzuela, who nevertheless kept his chin up higher than desirable.

 A right to the chin sent a small tremor through Choulute’s legs in  the fourth and final round, and a left uppercut near rounds end snapped his head back violently, drawing cheers from the crowd moments before the final bell.  Judges scored the bout 40-36 all in favor of Valenzuela. 

Osumanu Adama, who won the Vacant International Boxing Organization Intercontinental Middleweight and vacant USBA Middleweight titles with Belle and friends.

Osumanu Adama, who won the Vacant International Boxing Organization Intercontinental Middleweight and vacant USBA Middleweight titles with Belle and friends.

 

 

Adama's manager, Wasfi Tolaymat (far right) joins the group.

Adama's manager, Wasfi Tolaymat (far right) joins the group.

 

Renowned Chicago boxing trainer, Sam Colonna, poses with the gang.

Renowned Chicago boxing trainer, Sam Colonna, poses with the gang.

Promoter:  Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Productions

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