Adonis Stevenson and Don George will headline the Friday Night Fights card on August 17.
When the Tavoris Cloud vs Jean Pascal fight was postponed due to an injury to Pascal, that left the scheduled Showtime co-feature between Adonis Stevenson and Don George without a home. That has now changed, as the two super middleweights will meet in an IBF eliminator bout on August 17, headlining ESPN Friday Night Fights from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"I was very disappointed of the postponement from August 11. I was gearing myself for some time in September but, as soon as my promoter and my manager told me about August 17, the adrenaline started flowing again," said Stevenson.
"I am anxious to qualify as the No. 1 contender to fight the IBF champion Carl Froch. I know George will be ready for a war and this is what he will have. I can knock him out in Montreal, in his hometown of Chicago, and in Oklahoma as well."
George is ready for the fight, and thinks it favors him stylistically. "I don't necessarily see a flaw in him. I'm just confident in myself. Stylistically, I like this fight. He's not going to run. He's a puncher too, so I'm just going to go out there and fight my fight and I know I can win."
Junior middleweight contender Carlos Molina will be in the co-feature, facing Damian Frias. Both George and Molina are from Chicago, but this is a really short-notice move, so everyone is pretty much taking what they can get here.
Stevenson (18-1, 15 KO) will be a pretty heavy favorite against George (22-2-1, 19 KO), who really doesn't deserve to be in the eliminator position after a one-sided loss to Edwin Rodriguez in March, but it became a process of elimination when everyone else in the IBF top 15 turned down the chance. George was simply the highest-ranked guy who said yes.
Molina (19-5-2, 6 KO) last fought on March 24, largely outboxing James Kirkland in Texas, before losing a highly controversial disqualification when his corner entered the ring early at the end of the 10th round. The Mexican-American battler was reeling a bit in that round, but that didn't make the DQ any easier to digest.
Now, Molina is busted back down to ESPN2 level, against an opponent in Frias (19-4-1, 10 KO) who has a similar record, but not a similar talent level. Frias is a 35-year-old Cuban who last fought in September 2011, stopping Henry Crawford in nine. That was his first real fight since a three-fight losing streak 2009-10, followed by a 2011 draw. His losing streak came at the hands of Freddy Hernandez, Brad Solomon, and Favio Medina.