After a week off, ESPN’s Friday Night Fights Series returns with a double header from Chicago, Illinois with former super middleweight contender, Don ‘Da Bomb’ George (24-3-1, 21 KOs) as makes his move down in the middleweight division in a 10 round fight against the always rugged Mexican, David Lopez (41-13-0, 23 Kos).
The last time we saw George on television he fought a spirited and tough fight against Adonis Stevenson in Canada. Although his performance was in a knockout defeat, George showed heart, grit, and determination in taking some of Stevenson’s best blows and deciding to fight on.
Since then, he has had one fight with a catch weight of 164 lbs and now he continues to make a full transition to the middleweight divisions where the opportunities are plentiful, should he get past David Lopez, who Don knows is no pushover.
“It’s going to be a great night. Every fight is competitive. I made a lot of sacrifices in preparing for this fight.
Mr. Lopez is very battle-tested, but he’s had his time. This is my time now. I’m going to make a statement with this fight. Mr. Lopez has fought all the top guys, so when I beat him it’ll be a message to the other middleweights in the world.”
Lopez has beaten the likes of Billy Lyell, Ossie Duran, and Saul Roman. He’s spent most of his recent career fighting below the middleweight limit and even fighting at 154 ½ lbs in his victory over Duran but lost when he challenged Austin Trout for the WBA 154 lb title. Lopez hopes to spoil George’s time at middleweight in front of his home town fans.
“Donovan, thank you for the opportunity and may God bless you. Let the best man win! I’m very well prepared. Donovan George has never fought anyone like me,” explained Lopez.
I tend to disagree. George has been in the ring with a banger like Stevenson, and another super middleweight contender, Edwin Rodriguez. Both guys in m opinion would knock out Lopez as he has been stopped 9 times out of his 13 losses.
I think this fight will go that route. Although Lopez hasn’t been stopped in close to 8 years, I think he is ripe for George’s powerful right hand. Don is a solid fighter who likes to fight against a guy that comes forward like Lopez. Lopez is what he is, a straight line brawler who can take a lot of punishment while hoping to counter and land something big. While he may be the taller, longer fighter, he won’t use those advantages to try and stay outside because he likes to fight on the inside as does George who occasionally likes to throw a jab and work behind it.
I see both guys wanting to get into an inside firefight with George eventually breaking down his limited opponent in the later rounds. Will that tell us much about George and his run in the middleweight division? Only time will tell, but maybe the weight can benefit George to fit his style and make his punches feel harder to his opponents in a lighter division. Regardless, it should be a very entertaining fight with a good clash of styles.
In the co-feature, Kermit Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KOs) makes a comeback attempt dropping down in weight like George, moving from Jr. Middleweight to Welterweight as he takes on Adrian Granados (11-2-1, 7 KOs). Cintron’s move to 154 saw a string of losses after his victory over Alfredo Angulo. Aside from receiving a gift draw against Sergio Martinez, he flew out of a ring against Paul Williams and looked like a shot fighter in losses to Canelo Alvarez and Carlos Molina. Cintron, a former welterweight champion and a once relevant fighter hopes the move back to 147 can help revive what’s left of his remaining boxing career.
“I’m going back to basics for this fight; back to my roots. I feel it is the best for me. I had a great camp. I’m back to welterweight where I belong. I can do what I do best at this weight,” explained Cintron at the final press conference before the fight.
Granados looks to play spoiler this weekend as he has a very limited resume with a loss to Frankie Gomez and a draw with Lanadro Tyner, the most recognized names on his resume. While Cintron is down in weight, Granados is moving down in weight. One must wonder how Granados will adjust to 147 as his only fight at 147 was against Tyner as he was a late replacement. While he may be the lesser known fighter when compared to Cintron, He will be the hometown favorite as he is a resident of the state of Illinois much like the headliner, George.
Will the power at 147 be there for Cintron? Who’s to know what mental state Cintron is in? Both guys are long and rangy. Cintron at his best at 147 had a powerful right hand. He looked his best when he decided to box from the outside, instead of getting inside and trading. He has looked as shot as anyone in his last outings but if Cintron isn’t gun shy, I see him snapping and landing just enough right hands from the outside to win a close decision against the younger, inexperienced Granados.