by Tim Harrison
Don “Da Bomb” George, the long-time super middleweight contender and Chicago native, makes his middleweight debut on this week’s Friday Night Fights in front of his hometown fans at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. George (24-3-1, 21 KOs) takes on David Alonso Lopez (41-13, 23 KOs) in a ten-round contest, with Kermit Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KOs) making another run at relevance against Adrian Granados (11-2-1, 7 KOs) in the televised co-feature, also set for ten rounds.
Don George is a fighter on the comeback trail. Just two fights ago, George was stopped in an IBF super middleweight title eliminator against hard-hitting Adonis Stevenson. George put forth a valiant effort, staving off an early exit several times in the fight. The fifth round in particular, saw George hit the floor twice before buzzing Stevenson with several hard right hands as the two traded bombs until the bell sounded to end the round. George would survive another knockdown in the sixth round, but would not make it to see the final bell, however. After another series of hard left hands from Stevenson, referee Marlon Wright stopped the fight a minute into the twelfth round, saving an exhausted Don George from a potentially violent end. In his last fight, George stopped Mid-West club fighter James Cook in one round.
Journeyman David Lopez comes into Friday’s fight on the heels of a ten-round unanimous decision victory over Julio Cesar Garcia last May. Just a year prior, Lopez lost a wide decision to WBA junior middleweight titlist Austin Trout in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Twelve of Lopez’s losses came before January 2005, before Lopez would win sixteen straight against lower-level opponents over six years prior to coming up woefully short against Trout.
Don George is a fighter with a powerful right hand. His jab hits with some force, but he will occasionally throw it with an elliptical motion. He’s faster on his feet than given credit for, and he is able to slide in close and hook to the body and get back out without taking much punishment. Against a straight-forward guy like Lopez, George will need to bang him to the body to take some fuel out of his tank before teeing off with his right hand from range. And the jab that he sometimes throws in an elliptical motion will have to become a factor in blinding Lopez before the right hand comes behind it. Defensively, George covers up behind his guard to block punches upstairs, and is adept at bringing his elbows down to cover his abdomen, but he ‘s open to counters just before and after punching.
Lopez is a crude brawler who likes to come forward and mix it up. Although he’s been stopped nine times in his career, Lopez has shown he can absorb a lot of punishment and keep on coming. After taking punishment from Austin Trout for ten rounds, Lopez managed to catch the champion and momentarily hurt him in the eleventh. If Lopez wants to upset Don George he’ll have to walk through a lot of heavy firepower to get in close and make things ugly.
Don George isn’t a world class contender, but he’s tough, powerful, and he’s been in with very good 168-pounders in his career. His half-round KO win over James Cook in February didn’t answer any questions about his physical state following such a taxing fight with Adonis Stevenson, but Don George shouldn’t have too much trouble in dealing with a tough, but limited David Lopez. The early rounds should be close, with Lopez getting inside and landing his share of punches, but he’ll be worn down and stopped in nine rounds by Donovan George.
In the televised co-feature, Kermit Cintron returns to the welterweight division after three years up at 154 and a year out of the ring. Cintron has not fought since November 2011, when he was stopped in five rounds in an attempted upset of WBC junior welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Cintron went 3-3-1, with wins over Alfredo Angulo, Juliano Ramos, and Antwone Smith in his stint at junior middleweight.
Tall and rangy, Cintron carried considerable power in both hands early, but his once-powerful punch seems to have stayed in the welterweight division, where he returns to on Friday night. His best punch is his straight right, and he throws a nice uppercut with that hand as well. Cintron can be broken mentally and physically. He doesn’t fare well against inside pressure, but as he showed against Angulo, if he’s able to keep the fight at his most comfortable distance he can be effective.
Across the ring from Cintron will be young junior welterweight Adrian Granados. Like Cintron, Granados is tall and has long arms. In limited footage he’s shown the ability to box well from outside and he can mix it up on the inside when needed. For Granados to overcome the odds and beat the far more experienced Cintron, he’ll have to be good enough to contend with Cintron’s power outside while working his way inside where Cintron is ineffective.
Look for Cintron to shake off the rust and outwork Granados – just barely – over the full ten rounds.
Friday Night Fights airs on ESPN2 at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT. The Boxing Tribune will have full coverage of George-Lopez and Cintron-Granados, along with any swing bouts that make the air immediately following the broadcast.
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