By John G. Thompson – Tonight on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights series, power punching prospect Don “Da Bomb” George (24-3-1, 21 KO’s) faces fifty-four fight veteran David “The Destroyer” Lopez (41-13, 23 KO’s) in George’s hometown at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. Also in action, former champion Kermit Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KO’s) looks to keep his career alive against Adrian “Tigre” Granados (11-2-1, 7 KO’s), a fighter ten years younger than Cintron.
Twenty-eight year old super middleweight Don George dropped down in weight to take this fight at middleweight. Never-the-less, his opponent, who often fought at junior middleweight, possesses a two inch (5 cm) height advantage and an eight inch (20 cm) reach advantage. George won his first 20 fights (with one draw) before suffering a loss to Francisco Sierra. During George’s undefeated run he also racked up an impressive twelve consecutive wins by knockout. George also suffered defeats against undefeated Edwin Rodriguez and was TKO’d in the twelfth round by Adonis Stevenson last October – the only time George has been stopped. In February George won his only fight since the loss, scoring a first round KO – the eighth first round stoppage of his career.
Southpaw David Lopez of Sonora, Mexico had been on an impressive 16 fight winning streak (half by stoppage) until dropping a lopsided decision to WBA World light middleweight champion Austin Trout in 2011. During that span Lopez bested the likes of Saul Roman, Ossie Duran, Billy Lyell, and Danny Perez. His previous loss was a twelfth round TKO at the hands of Fulgencio Zuniga in 2005. The thirty-five year old Lopez has had one bout since the loss to Trout – a unanimous decision over 45-5 Julio Cesar Garcia last May.
Cintron has not fought since he was TKO’d in the fifth round by Saul Alvarez back in November 2011. The thirty-three year old Cintron has an impressive KO percentage of over 70%, and in fact won his first nine bouts all by knockout (six in the first round), and then went on to win his next nine bouts by knockout. Cintron’s first and second losses both came by way of knockout at the hands of Antonio Margarito, though Margarito’s wins will forever be in question due to his being caught with plaster of Paris in his gloves.
Cintron fought to a decision with current middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in 2009, and then suffered a bizarre technical decision loss to Paul Williams in 2010, when in the fourth round after a breaking from a hold Cintron went through the ropes onto the floor outside the ring and could not continue. It would be a year and two months before Cintron fought again, losing a unanimous decision to the talented Carlos Molina. Undeterred, Cintron fought just one month later, earning a unanimous decision against Antwone Smith. Just three months after that, Cintron lost to Alvarez. Some of the better wins on the former IBF welterweight champion’s record include Alfredo Angulo, Lovemore Ndou, Jesse Feliciano, David Estrada, and Teddy Reid.
Twenty-three year old Adrian Granados of Illinois has been a sparring partner for Juan Manuel Marquez. Almost all of his fights took place in Illinois, including his majority decision loss to undefeated Frankie Gomez in 2011. His other loss, a split decision, occurred in his second pro bout in 2008 in Mexico. His one draw came against Lanardo Tyner, after Tyner’s original opponent David Estrada pulled out of the fight due to injury and Granados stepped in with short notice.