Last June, inside a ring in Minneapolis, Minn, Don “Da Bomb” George realized pretty quickly that he had nothing to offer. It’s imperative for a professional boxer to be prepared mentally and physically. If something is amiss, the reality can be extremely painful.
“That night was one of the worse days of my life,” George told this writer on the phone last week. “It was terrible. Anything that could go wrong went wrong.
“I was a shell of myself.”
George was brutally knocked out by Caleb Truax in six rounds. He had entered the squared circle the favorite that night, but left it defeated and demoralized. George, who had fought as a super middleweight for the duration of his fighting life, had dropped down in weight for the match, figuring that the middleweight division would be a good fit.
“I thought going to one-hundred sixty (pounds) was the answer,” George said honestly. “I was totally wrong. I had nothing. I didn't eat for five days and was totally out of it.”
Boxing is all about sacrifice, but sometimes a fighter’s dedication can sometimes go too far. George is one of them. He signed a contract to come in at 160 pounds, and “by George” he did it.
But “Da Bomb” of past fights was missing in action. It didn’t help that his powerful right hand was injured.
“My hand has basically been broken for over three years,” said George. ”I finally got a totally broke fusion. A few months ago, all the breaks were fixed. It was a major surgery. So for the first time in many years, I’m healthy.”
“I’m excited,” he added.
Going into the Truax fight, George had changed trainers, from his father Peter, to John David Jackson, a former two-time titleholder in the middleweight and super middleweight division.
Teaming George with Jackson looked good on paper. Sometimes what looks good isn’t.
“Training with John just didn't fit my style,” said George. “I'm a banger, not a boxer. So as of now, my dad and Sam Colina are training me, with the help of former fighters Dave Latoria and Trinidad Garcia.
“My strength coach Dariusz Franczak is making me a tank. I have a great team of guys working hard to make me the best that I can be.”
George recently signed an exclusive contract with Chicago promoters Bobby Hitz of Hitz Boxing and Frank Mugnolo of Round 3 Productions.
“Bobby and I have been friends for twenty years,” George said. “I have known him my whole life and he’s always treated me like family. It's pretty cool now that we are going to be working together. Mugs has been friends with my dad for over forty years.”
George and his new team gave much thought on how best to relaunch his career.
He could have easily jumped right back in there against a top-ranked contender. But they decided to take things slow.
The decision was hard on George.
“Boxers are proud people and it crushes me that I'm back to fighting an eight-rounder,” said George of his scheduled bout on April 18 at the Horseshoe Arena in Hammond, Indiana. ”It's a kick in the butt. So it's time to put up or shut up for me.”
The Chicago native knows what he’s up against. He’s desperate to get back in the ring and show everyone who he is.
“In a perfect world I'll fight every few weeks and get my swag back,” said George, who has compiled a record of twenty-four-wins and four losses with twenty-one knockouts.
“I don't want to fight one tune-up and then get put in a fight against twenty and zero killer. This is my last run and I want to do it right.”
The 29-year-old recently married his best friend, Aleksandra Peric.
“I promised my wife if I take another beating, I’ll quit,” George said.
Should he lose, there's no doubt that George will keep his promise.
“I feel great,” said George.