Ringnews24 catches up with Donovan George ahead of his toughest test to date
Ringnews24.com: You’re making your HBO debut on March 17th on the undercard of the bout between Sergio Martinez and Matthew Macklin. You must be excited?
I am so pumped up. This is a dream come true; It does not get any bigger then fighting on HBO and fighting at the historic Madison Square Garden and even more exciting is that I’ll be fighting on St. Patrick's Day.
Ringnews24.com: You will be fighting undefeated super middleweight Edwin Rodriguez. How has your preparation been for the fight?
Training has been great. I have been getting good sparring and working my ass off. I am 110% focused, made many sacrifices to get to this fight and one thing’s for sure, I will go out on my shield if I have to, to make sure I am victorious!
Ringnews24.com: Do you expect this to be your toughest fight to date?
Hands down this is hardest fight of my life; Edwin (Rodriquez) is a great fighter and I have the utmost respect for him. I'm expecting this to be fireworks and we're both coming to fight!
Ringnews24.com: What are your plans for after the Rodriguez fight? Where would you like to be by the end of 2012?
I can’t look past Rodriguez as he is a great fighter. I will win this fight and go from there.
Ringnews24.com: You were supposed to fight Librado Andrade in December last year but the fight didn’t happen after it was discovered the ring was far smaller than the agreed size. How did you feel at the time?
It was the worst day of my life. When I found out that I wasn't fighting I broke down in tears. I worked so hard for that fight. It hurt a lot.
Ringnews24.com: Do you think your promoter Leon Margules did the right thing? I know fans I’ve spoken to didn’t have any problems with what Margules did, even applauding him for standing up for his fighter.
As a fighter I wanted to fight, but that's when you need people who care about you to make those tough decisions. Now that I look back I am very thankful to Leon for looking out for me. Everything happens for a reason. Now I'm on HBO at MSG.
Ringnews24.com: There was talk of a new date for you and Andrade to fight but that didn’t happen. Do you think a fight with Andrade could happen later this year or is that bout now out of the equation?
To be honest I have no idea. I guess I'll leave that up to my manager, Mike (Michaels).
Ringnews24.com: You lost to Francisco Sierra in 2010. What went wrong for you that night?
Ringnews24.com: What did you work on in training afterwards to not repeat the same mistakes?
When I trained for that fight I went out to Big Bear. It was the first time I trained without my father. In training I got hurt and broke my nose badly, but being a dummy that I was, I didn't tell my people how hurt I was. I ended up paying for it that night but that's life. You must learn from your mistakes and never let it happen again.
Ringnews24.com: It must have worked as you stopped the undefeated Cornelius White in just one round in your next bout. Did you feel you had a point to prove in that fight considering you were coming off a loss?
No one comes back after a bad loss and takes on a monster like (Cornelius) White. I could have taken a tune-up but the fight with White came up and I have not looked back since.
Ringnews24.com: Do you feel a loss can sometimes motivate a boxer more than if he goes undefeated for a long time? Does losing help to draw attention to exactly what needs working on and help a boxer to perfect his craft?
Losing was the best and worst thing for my boxing career. That night made me realise that I'm only human and need to get better fast. But at the same time it opened a lot of doors for big fights including this upcoming one and because of my loss, opponents think I am easily beatable.
Ringnews24.com: Showtime recently told Lucian Bute they want him to fight an American opponent although it seems a bout with Carl Froch may still go ahead though. Do you think you might be in a good position to be that American opponent Showtime is looking for?
Yes I do. I'm a white kid from Chicago who jams. I have never been in a bad fight. I love to get in there and mix it up; if either opportunity came up I would take it in a heartbeat. Like I said, I'm 110% focused on my fight on March 17th and after that I'm sure my team will make the necessary moves.
Ringnews24.com: Do you feel you are ready for a World title shot or do you think you still need a little more experience?
I think I'm almost there. As long as I keep improving, I'll be ready. Edwin Rodriguez will be a great test for me.
Ringnews24.com: Have you got any last words you’d like to say to your fans?
I would like to thank my management, Mike Michael and Gina Iacovou of Cestus Management, my father and trainer Peter George, 'Da Bomb Squad', my promoters Dibella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing, HBO and all my family for their continued support. I fight for my family and fans. I promise to lay it all on the line on the 17th and give the fans a good show. I give so much thanks to my wonderful fans for always cheering me on and giving me that strength to fight harder for them.
Ringnews24.com: Thanks for doing the interview with Ring News 24 Don and best of luck against Edwin Rodriguez.
Thanks Ryan and Ringnews24!