Its 1:05pm and I’m running late. I hate being late.
When your life consists of words, a mere letter becomes of the utmost importance. It’s during this trip to the post office to deliver a certified one, that I realize I’m a little late calling George "Comanche Boy"Tahdooahnippah (stop, I can see you trying to pronounce it from here- fagetaboutit).
It’s been weeks since Amy Green (his publicist) and I agreed on this time last Friday to chat, and I was looking forward to it. Affectionately referred to as “Comanche Boy” among his legion of followers in the authentic native preserves of Lawton, Oklahoma, the true Native American headlined last night’s card at Comanche Native Casino against veteran Thomas Brown (as of this writing the results are pending).
Fighting under the banner of Joe DeGuardia’s “Star Boxing”, this will be his first bout since losing earlier this past winter. I caught up with "Comanche Boy" and went right into the meat n potatoes.
“Alright George, what happened against Delvin dawg? You looked flat.” I bottom-lined with a smile. Almost interrupting me to answer and right off the bat a stand-up guy, he didn’t hesitate to speak his mind or tell the truth.
“I don’t have any excuses, Delvin was the better man that night,” confessed Comanche Boy. “I trained hard but I struggled with cutting weight and it showed. I had nothing, and I knew it in the locker room during warm-ups. Sometimes you just don’t have it, and it was one of those nights.”
Oh I’m sorry... He’s of course referring to Delvin Rodriguez (who faces Miguel Cotto tonight), the world-class and lanky super welterweight who stopped him in the 6th round this past February on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
By no means is George done, and though he faced tough opposition in Brown (15-4-1, 9KO’s), I expect him to have prevailed as you are reading this.
As a heavy-handed action fighter having compiled a record of 31-1-1 (23KO’s) over his nine-year professional career prior to last night, Tahdooahnippah returns to continue his dream of vying for a world middleweight championship. If he's successful, the new IBA Continental Americas champion would possibly fall into the radar of the sports reigning terror in WBA/WBO middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on HBO.
“How do you see Cotto-Rodriguez breaking down?” I asked.
“Well it’s a really good fight, and one Delvin can win if he uses all of his tools,” said Comanche Boy. “He’s tall; he’s got a long reach and really good variety. He mixes it up well and just does a lot of everything well. But you can’t really go against Cotto and what Freddie might bring to his game. I think Cotto pulls it out.”
“What are your ultimate goals in the fight game? You have a wild amount of support in Oklahoma and just one of the few fighters of Native American descent on the world scene. That must be a tremendous source of pride.” I said.
“It is. When you see all the Native traditional gear and customs on display before I come to the ring- that’s what it’s all about. My people,” stated George. “I’m a very proud warrior and come from a long line of them. And considering the history of what’s been done and taken away from us as a people, its only right that I literally “fight” for something to give back.”
Shortly thereafter, after a brief chat about Floyd/Canelo and the upcoming Pacquiao/Rios bout, the urgency of my day got the best of me and we ended our conversation. But I found myself very proud of him and moved by the nobility of his life. He’s genuine in a way every man should aspire to be, and nothing wavers in his voice or in his commitment to championing the cause and heritage of his descendants.
I didn’t get the sense I was talking to anyone who even remotely sounded like “Tonto”, rather the “Lone Ranger”, looking to dispel societal myth, while ascending to mythical heights.