Adonis Stevenson cleared to train
Super middleweight contender Adonis Stevenson will return to full training by the end of the week and his title eliminator with Donovan George has been rescheduled for Oct. 12 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, promoter Yvon Michel announced Tuesday.
This is the third time the bout -- which will determine the mandatory challenger for 168-pound titlist Carl Froch of England -- has been scheduled.
Originally, it was supposed to take place Aug. 11 on a Showtime card headlined by Tavoris Cloud's light heavyweight title defense against Jean Pascal, but it was postponed along with the rest of the card because Pascal suffered a hand injury while training.
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Because Cloud-Pascal was not going to be rescheduled until deep into the fall -- and now it probably won't be rescheduled at all this year -- Stevenson-George was rescheduled as the main event of the Aug. 17 season finale of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights."
However, Stevenson suffered a left hand injury a week before the fight, which was moved from Montreal to the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla., and had to withdraw. George (23-2-1, 20 KOs) instead faced late substitute Dionisio Miranda of Colombia and knocked him out in the sixth round to preserve the eliminator with Stevenson (18-1, 15 KOs), 34, of Quebec.
George, 27, of Chicago, was unable to attend a Tuesday morning news conference in Montreal because he had two flights out of Chicago grounded because of mechanical problems on Monday night.
"He was in the airport all day on Monday, but he'll show up at the fight," Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules said. "He couldn't make it from Chicago but I was able to make it from South Florida out of a tropical storm (Isaac). Go figure.
"I saw Adonis at the press conference and he looks like he's in good shape and he said that his hand is better. Don is excited about the fight. It's a fight he's wanted for a long time and it's a fight that we believe he will win. After the Miranda fight, Don was back in the gym Monday morning."
Michel is using the bout to kick off a new season of his "Fast & Furious" series of shows at the Bell Centre that feature his stable of fighters, including Pascal, Stevenson, David Lemieux, Antonin Decarie, Kevin Bizier and Eledier Alvarez.
"We are very excited about this fight between Adonis and Don George. I believe that outside of a world championship fight that it is the best fight that can be made at 168 pounds," Michel said. "Everybody (ahead of George in the IBF's rankings) turned down the opportunity to fight Adonis Stevenson but Don took the fight. So we know he is confident. These guys are both bangers. They are both very confident. Adonis knows there is no tomorrow. It has been so difficult to get him a title fight and hard to get him an opponent for this fight, but the winner gets to fight for a world championship.
"I'm expecting Adonis to be at his best and that is not good news for Donovan George."
As for Stevenson's hand, Michel said he continued to train after the fight was postponed but did not use his left hand. He will begin to use it with authority this week.
"He was very determined and he worked every day at his physical therapy," Michel said. "He did everything he had to do and now, starting at the end of this week, he will start using his left hand in training."
The fight is slated to be televised in the United States on WealthTV. The San Diego-based cable network, which is available in about 15 million homes, agreed to an output deal in early August with Michel under which he will provide the network with at least six shows -- and probably more -- through 2013.