Shaun George: I feel like a new fighter


Shaun George: I feel like a new fighter

PRESS RELEASE: For Shaun George, his May 16 showdown with Chris Byrd is about more than a fight - it represents the struggle to fulfill the lofty potential held in his fists.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, George has had to overcome the odds more than once to reach his goals. Yet even in New York City's deep and competitive amateur boxing program, George was able to make a name for himself, earning two NY Golden Gloves titles and a US National Amateur championship. His amateur accolades have yet to translate into the professional acclaim that once seemed inevitable, a fact that George fully recognizes.

"Up until this point, I feel my career has been a disappointment to myself. I have all of this telent and I haven't shown it. I have the ability to take my fight game to the next level. I'm bringing it all to the table on May 16. I want to show everyone, not just the judges, not just myself, but everyone what I am made of."

Just as aware as George is of his thus far unlocked talent, he is just as cognizant of the stern challenge set before him. Byrd, 40-4-1 (21 KO), is a significantly more experienced professional with two heavyweight championships in his past. In order to elevate his training process, George left his adopted home base of North Jersey for the first time to prepare in Arizona.

Leaving behind his wife Casey, who is expecting their first child in September, has not been easy on George.

"Being away from my wife bothers me, but it's a sacrifice I have to make. I want to be the best that I can be. In the end, winning this fight will make it all worthwhile. I don't want to look back and say that I didn't give it my best."

As he reflects on what lies ahead, George keeps in mind the reason why he puts himself through the grueling training process, why he needs to travel that extra mile for the sake of pugilistic accomplishment. Setting his priorities in perspective has made the process more bearable.

"I'm doing this for my family. I don't want my family to work so hard. I have a wife and a child on the way. I have problems and concerns just like anybody else. Beating Chris Byrd puts me one step closer to my dream, which is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day."

Aside from the tangible motivations that drive George, his competitive nature compels him as he approaches his highest stage as a pro. "If people say that I can't beat someone, then I want to be him. I want to be world champion. The only person in my way is Chris Byrd."

George is no stranger to fighting in his opponent's hometowns. One such instance, last February in Russia against Alexander Gurov, saw George win 10 out of 12 rounds only to drop a hometown decision.

"I'm a little nervous about that," George says of fighting in Las Vegas, where Byrd makes his residence. "I hope the judges give me credit where credit is due. Chris Byrd has his antics and is a bigger name. I don't want to win 2:30 of a round only to lose a round because Byrd lands one decent punch. I have faith that the commission will be fair and objective when scoring this fight, however."

George has one previous fight in Las Vegas, a 2003 knockout win over Terrence Smith.

To Shaun George, this isn't just another trip through the ropes; it is a new beginning. "In my first amateur fight, I left everything in the ring and gave it everything I had. This feels like my first fight. I feel like a new fighter; I'm refreshed. I can't think ahead past this fight. My only focus is on giving it everything I can for ten rounds.

"This is my life. I am Shaun George, a professional prizefighter."