Shaun George Talks New Promoter, New Son, New Mission To Be Number One!

By Vivek Wallace: Last May in Las Vegas' Thomas and Mack Center, the light heavyweight division saw the rise of one of its newest and brightest stars as Brooklynite Shaun George stopped the very credible Chris Byrd, via 9th round TKO. Prior to this feat, those unaware of George's potential gave him little odds of defeating the crafty southpaw, let alone stopping him, considering that no one below the heavyweight ranks had ever come close. After such a soul-stirring performance, fight fans in attendance and many around the world suddenly found out what a select few had already known. That sentiment was the fact that the already deep light heavyweight division had just become one formidable contender deeper, setting the stage for what expects to be an interesting journey..

Serving as extra added motivation, George has been added to the stable of promoter powerhouse Lou DiBella (DiBella Entertainment), and has joined his wife in welcoming their first child into the world, little Shaun jr. As he prepares for his 'rise' to the occassion, George was kind enough to take a moment out and define his blueprint for eventual success. Here's a glimpse into that conversation:

VW: Hey George, how's it going? What's good bro?

SG: Everything's great. Life's great. My wife and I just welcomed our first child into the world, Shaun jr. I also have a new advisor who's brilliant, Donna Brooks, and I have a new promoter, Lou DiBella, so things are moving along very well. I feel blessed.

VW: I understand you have a fight upcoming against Donnell Wiggins on the Lacy/Taylor undercard. How's preparation for that fight going?

SG: Well, everything is going great. With my wife and newborn in mind, the mentality has changed a bit. The focus is more intense. I'm approaching this fight like it's for a world title.

VW: In your last fight you faced and soundly defeated Chris Byrd. Going into the fight, how did you feel, and did you think you would actually stop him?

SG: I knew it would be a possibility that I could stop him coming into the fight. My trainer, Tommy Brooks, came up with a solid gameplan and we executed. I was very focused because of the level of my competition and I had the best sparring partners out there. Leading up to that fight I sparred pretty heavy with both Antonio Tarver and Vassily Jirov, so sparring couldn't get much better than that.

VW: Speaking of Tarver, I'm sure you saw his fight with Dawson a week ago. What did you think of the fight and his performance?

SG: I thought he lost to the better man that night. It wasn't his age, or all this other stuff people try to bring up, and it wasn't his training because I know he trained hard. Dawson was just the better fighter that night.

VW: When you consider all the talent in the light heavyweight division, referring to Dawson, Tarver, Jones, Hopkins, the list goes on; How do you feel about being a fighter in that mix?

SG: I think it's beautiful that we have all of that talent in the division, but the hard part is getting them all in the ring. There's so many politics involved that we may never see most of the fights people actually want to see happen. Right now, Dawson holds the strap so he's the 'Clark Kent' and that has to be respected, but I'm working my way up cause I'm eager and I want some of that action.

VW: When you look at Tarver, Johnson, Jones, and Hopkins, then consider how long they've chose to stay in the ring, do you see yourself in the fight game that long?

SG: It's all about how you take care of yourself but me personally, I don't see myself fighting that long. (laughs)

VW: Speaking of the aging Hopkins, I'm sure you saw his performance last Saturday night. What were your thoughts?

SG: Honestly, I was surprised that people were surprised by the outcome of that fight. I was even more surprised that he was the underdog going into that fight. Bernard Hopkins is a freak of nature. He's very gifted, very intelligent, and he knows how to match himself up with his opponents in the ring. I don't take anything away from Pavlik, but the guys he fought before were offensive-minded and they tried to stand and fight. Bernard Hopkins probably said "hey, why stand in front of him if I don't have to"? And just executed his plan from there.

VW: Switching gears, few in the past have been able to outbox Chris Byrd. You not only did that, but before the knockout, you did it decisively. Why do you think you get so little recognition from boxing writers?

SG: I used to be real upset about that lack of attention, but now I'm comfortable with it. The way I see it, they can have opinions of me, but if they're not willing to put their house, or their savings up on those opinions, it doesn't matter. I know with my drive, my work ethic, and the fact that I'm a student of the game, one day I'll be champion.

VW: You'll be one step closer to that reality if things go through with the potential matchup between yourself and Glen Johnson. What stage is that fight in, speaking in terms of it actually materializing?

SG: Well, his team accepted the terms. You know my contract's already signed. (Laughs). Now we're trying to get the networks involved and cut through some of the political ropes. Both teams accepted and we're ready to go. Tentative time frame is January, so hopefully things work out.

VW: Before we wrap up, I wanted to touch bases on the delicate case of Oscar Diaz - who we know suffered a coma from his fight a few months ago. Tell us about your relationship with him.

SG: He's one of my best friends ever, going well beyond boxing. We have this relationship where no matter how good I do or how bad I do, he always challenged me to be better. We always challenge each other. If you ever see him fight, I'm right there in his corner. If you ever see me fight, he's right there in my corner. He's showing great improvement, thankfully. We're still praying that he comes back to good health.

VW: In closing, is there anything you want to say to your fans out there?

SG: I just want to say thank you to everyone out there. Thanks for those who support me, and thank you to the nay-sayers, because they're healthy for the sport and motivate me as well. I just want to ask everyone to keep supporting the sport and keep your eyes open, I'll be back soon!


(Got Questions Or Feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at and 954-292-7346, or show some love at

Article posted on 23.10.2008

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