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12/18/2006 Archived Entry: "Donovan George: 'I'll drop da Bomb on Johnson' This Friday!"

Donovan George: 'I'll drop da Bomb on Johnson' This Friday!

Photos and interview by Juan C. Ayllon

DonavanGeorgeJab1 (45k image)

Donovan George lands a hard jab on Butch Hajicek


CHICAGO – Donovan “ Da Bomb” George (10-0-1, 8 KO’s) is a likeable, good-looking kid who can punch. A former Chicago Golden Gloves star, at six feet tall, he’s lanky and fights at super middleweight, or roughly 165 lbs with plenty of room to grow.

An explosive puncher at 22, he’s being carefully groomed for an eventual title shot at a title by Mike Michael, who founded his management team, Cestus Management. Michael, who worked with Panos Eliades, the former promoter of Lennox Lewis, gained invaluable experience assisting with Lewis and promoting fights in the Eastern Bloc and the Mediterranean.

That experience has served him well in guiding junior welterweight prospect Mike Arnaoutis to national prominence. And, as you’ll see, it makes for an entertaining interview, as he pumps up and coaxes his latest charge, Donovan George. Clearly, Donovan is a quick study.

However, hype and flourish go only so far. Eventually, you have to prove yourself against tough competition.

This Friday at Cicero Stadium in Cicero, Illinois, George will get such an opportunity. He will face rugged journeyman William Johnson (7-10-1, 3 KO’s), who’s fought very respectable opposition, including Robert Allen, who went the distance against future Hall-of-Famer Bernard Hopkins, and fought hard punching Irish middleweight prospect John Duddy--who was 5-0 with 5 KO's at the time--in only his third pro fight. George should ultimately prevail, but it’s not a given.

Taking a few minutes following his workout last Saturday, Donovan George joined Mike Michael in candidly discussing his upcoming bout and career.

JUAN C. AYLLON: What’s new, Donovan?

DONOVAN: Nothing much. Just getting ready. It’s good to hear from you, Juan.

JA: How’s the training coming?

DG: Oh, excellent! It’s just counting down the days, hours and minutes now. I’m just getting ready.

JA: What do you know about William Johnson, whom you’ll be fighting this Friday?

DG: We know his last fight, he went the distance with a former world champion challenger, Robert Allen. I’m assuming he’s durable. We actually fought on the same show as this guy last month in Ohio, but we really didn’t get a good look at him. So, we’re prepared for whatever he brings to the table. We’re ready. We’re going to go out there and do my thing.

MIKE MICHAEL: This guy’s a tough, durable guy. He’s very experienced. He’s been in there with some good fighters, (like) a former two-time world title challenger, Robert Allen. We’re going to do what we’re going to do.

JA: What can you tell us about preparations for this fight?

DG: It’s just we’ve been training extra hard—(we) didn’t take any time off since my last fight. (We) started training, you know, for months upon months, every single day, twice a day—sometimes three times a day. We’re just trying to move it along as fast as possible and go out there and get some more experience, get some more fights under our belts.

JA: How did you feel about your last fight against Julio Jean?

DG: That was a really good fight for me, a good learning experience. The guy had a lot more experience, fought a lot better competition than I’ve been with, and went the distance with (middleweight prospect John) Duddy, and a couple other guys, and for me knocking him out, it made a big statement, you know?

MM: Yeah, that was a huge statement, Juan because this guy—

DG (interjecting): He went 10 rounds with Duddy!

MM (continuing): Yeah, this guy’s been renowned for his durability with 10 hard rounds with Duddy, (and) gave him a real good fight. And Don comes in, and didn’t just stop him. He took him apart over a period of five rounds.

They keep showing it on Versus TV continuously for about four weeks now! It was a sensational victory. And Don hit this guy—and all respect to Julio Jean—with a bomb that would have knocked out a rhino. This guy got up, but he was dead meat after that. Don just went in for the kill. You know what I mean?

JA: How has the sparring situation worked out? Are you still training at Windy City?

DG: We’re training out of Brooks, but I do my sparring at Windy City. We take it down there once or twice a week. You know, work with all the Chicago fighters and whoever comes in. Sam Colonna sets us up with sparring, so we’ve been doing great work and we’re winding it down, everything ready to go!

JA: Can you give us any names of people you’ve been sparring against?

DG: Just everybody—the whole Windy City boxing crew—you could write down, ‘cause I don’t want anybody’s name and then forget somebody’s name. I fought all the Windy City pros—all the middleweights, super middleweights, whoever Sam lines up for me—the Polish kids, that team from Poland, they’ve been pretty good work. They’re very tough guys. So, I’ve been getting some great sparring.

I feel fantastic. I’m ready to explode! I’m ready to take this William Johnson and just knock his lights out!

JA: Before we move on, I wanted to get your opinion on the shutting down of Windy City Gym.

DG: Oh, it’s just a sad story, but it happens in boxing. You’re going to get that. I don’t know where we fighters are going to go. You know, it’s going to be a lot of homeless fighters, like everybody’s saying.

So, somebody might step it up and open up a new facility. We’re just going to branch out and it’s going to be important for all the Chicago fighters who are serious about it to get each other’s numbers. We’ve been getting everybody’s number so we can all work out things and meet up and get to working.

MM: I’m sure Sam’s going to put something together, Juan. You know what I mean?

DG: Yeah, Sam’s definitely going to keep his fighters, so he’ll figure out something. And we’re really close to Sam, so he’ll take care of us.

MM: We’ll back Sam whatever way in any way he wants.

JA: Assuming all goes well this Friday, what’s next?

MM: Well, what’s next is we’re currently got a big surprise, which we’re going to keep under wraps until the time is right, okay? We’re going to be coming out with a major press release about that. Don will most definitely be stepping up. I envision that we’ll be moving up to eight rounds, and then we’ll be hunting for a North American title next year, without question. We’ve got a big surprise in store. We’re going to make a big announcement in January. You know what I mean?

JA: Hey, I’ve got to ask you this, as someone who’s had a struggle with weight since age 25: What do you do to stay so lean when you’re as tall as you are?

DG (Laughing): With the weight, you’ve just got to keep discipline with your diet. You can’t let off, you can’t. It’s all about discipline and hard work. I can get away with eating some foods because I workout so hard and so many times a day. But, if I’m just telling somebody who doesn’t workout the way I do, how to go on a diet, I wouldn’t have the right answer for them, you know?

MM: Well, don’t forget as well, Don’s growing as well. He’s going to be a bigger fighter by the end of 2007. He’s got the height, he’s got the reach, he’s got the width. The physique is filling out and, as he just said, Juan, he’s chiseled.

JA: Having previously mentioned you’re attending college, how’s that going?

DG: Yeah, it’s going. You know, it’s school, so I’m not going to say it’s fun. It’s a working experience. I’ve got to just power through. I’ve got to fit it in, get it done with, you know. I’m not going to get through in four years, but I’ll eventually get a degree and get it done with.

MM: The most important thing is he will graduate.

DG: I will eventually. I’m not going to give you a time or date. I will graduate.

MM: He will graduate.

DG: It’s been fun. It’s been a change of pace.

JA: What are you majoring in right now?

DG: I’m just doing Gen. Ed’s right now—just English and math right how.

JA: Any other thoughts you want to pass onto the readers?

DG: I’m so super excited about fighting in Chicago, my hometown. Everybody called me, E-mailed me. The fans are out and it’s going to be a packed, packed show at Cicero Stadium, and I plan to definitely give them their money’s worth, and some! And, for people who I don’t know, my fans are coming. I appreciate it. I definitely am going to put on a fantastic performance. You know, there’s going to be some flair, of course a little bit of showboating, but to close the show, it’s going to be a highlight reel knockout, as usual, and I’m just super-super pumped out about fighting back home and just ready to kill somebody, just ready to go. I start shaking when I think about it, I’m so pumped up!

MM: We’re ready. And when I tell you we’re ready, I mean it’s just going to be a sizzling display of awesome power (and) technique. You know the real deal’s in town. Don’s going to make new fans there—they’re just going to be blown away with what they’re going to see there. We’ve got this big-time.

And, just to add one more thing there, to Chicago fans, okay? We’re HONORED to come in there and we want them to keep coming, ‘cause they’re watching a future world champion. And he’s going to nuke—NUKE—Johnson on Friday in style!

DG: That sounds real good, Mike.

MM: You liked that one, yeah?

DG: Yeah, I liked it.

MM: Well, finish it off. Add something else to it as well. Come on man! You’re leaving me there with my mouth wide open there. You know what I mean? [Laughs]

DG: Well, like I said, it’s show time, I’m super pumped up. I’m going to bring the heat. You know, for all the ladies and whoever wants to come, they’re going to get their money’s worth, too, to see such a young looking, good looking young man in the ring. You know?

For people who don’t like boxing, they’re going to enjoy to come out and see the show, too. I’m just going to put out an around great, entertaining fight, get the fans their money’s worth and just destroy William Johnson, and “drop da bomb” on him! That’s it.

MM: One last thing, Juan: to top it all off, it’s going to be high drama. And I suggest, once everybody’s in there, lock the doors and run for cover because, I’m telling you, it’s going to be an explosive situation this Friday!

DG: Thank you very much for the support!

* * *

No, Donovan. Thank YOU. We look forward to seeing you "Drop da bomb" on Johnson this Friday.

* * *

Donovan George's bout will be featured on a fight show entitled, Christmas Brawl, presented by Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions along with Bob Arum's Top Rank Incorporated, Miller Lite, and TCF Bank.

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Mike Michael (left) and Donovan George

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