Friday Night Fights (ESPN2): Mission For Shaun George Simple - 'No Sleep Til Brooklyn'

By Vivek Wallace: In recent years, the various divisional straps in the light heavyweight division have had homes that stretch across the seven seas. The WBC strap sits in Canada (Pascal), the WBA strap sits in the trails of Spain (Campillo), the WBO strap remains in Hungary (Erdei), and the IBF strap lies somewhere in the 'burbs of Connecticut. With no one in recent years dominant enough to unify the division, the straps have basically gone from pillar to post, traveling around the globe with no one destination to call home. Anxious to change the itinerary, yet again, is a fighter who plans to relocate them to a permanent place which he calls home, and he won't rest until he gets them there. That place called 'home'....None other than Brooklyn....Where this contender has remained below the radar, but above the rim. Staying under that radar was easy, but due to recent success, that task has become harder for the rising Shaun George (18-2, 9KO's), and that challenge could multiply once again with a solid performance tonight as he finds himself centerstage against the talented Chris Henry (23-2, 18KO's) on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights..

I recently had the opportunity to speak to Shaun George, and knowing him for a few years now, it was very easy to note the recent change in both his demeanor and style. For years, he battled various injuries, but at long last, a change has come for George. When asked about his recent string of aggression, (evident in 3KO's in his last 5 fights), George spoke of how good it feels to be able to complete a full training camp feeling strong and at a certain peak. Coming into this fight, it was common knowledge that he won't be the only one strong, as his opponent carries a 72% KO ratio. To some, that may mean something. To George, it's just another day at the office, as the Brooklynite responded to that notion in saying "I don't care what he comes with or what he comes to do. I'm coming to handle my business because he stands in the way of me and bigger opportunities".

What bigger opportunities? Well, Chad Dawson currently stands at the top of the mantle, but along the way are a few big names that would clearly tip the scale if he could somehow get them in the ring and do to them what he did to another old-timer who thought he was set for a tune-up (Chris Byrd). To date, the Chris Byrd victory stands as one of the biggest on George's resume, but a decisive victory over Jones or Tarver would definitely put George in supreme contention, and speaking of them, it seems to be a task that George is also up for. When asked, George responded by stating: "I looked up to and admired those guys, (Jones/Tarver/Johnson), but now, it's my time. I would love to face them, because I respect them too much to lose to them". He then continued by saying "If I respect you, I will not lose to you". This statement was very intriguing in the sense that any contender can slip and be caught off guard when he doesn't respect an opponent, but when you're firmly aware of the challenge that lies ahead, the preparation and level of focus is unparalleled and typically always ends in success. With an unrelenting will to succeed and a passion that won't let him stop until he does, the mission for success is quite simple. To be a world champion, one has to handle business around the world. The flight path has been mapped out, and there are four stops scheduled. Spain, Hungary, Canada, and Connecticut. It's gonna be a bumpy ride with no stops scheduled, so ladies and gents, get your RedBull ready. Tonight starts the final leg of our travel....and there's no sleep til' Brooklyn! Stay tuned.

(Vivek Wallace can be reached at, 954-292-7346, Facebook and Myspace).

Article posted on 10.07.2009

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