Sean Monaghan successfully defended his perfect record, and lifted the WBO NABO light heavyweight title, by outpointing Donovan George on Friday in front of a pumped up hometown crowd at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York.
After 12 rounds of mostly one-sided action, the ringside judges awarded Monaghan (26-0, 16 KOs) with a unanimous decision win, their scorecards reading 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91.
The tenor of the fight was established early on with Monaghan pushing the action behind a heavy active jab and combinations, and George (25-5-2, 22 KOs) moving off the back foot and trying to answer Monaghan’s incessant pressure.
George, who injured his right hand during the fight, displayed incredible resilience, eating shot after shot throughout the fight and coming back for more. But his lack of activity and inability to mount any kind of meaningful attack on his forward-moving opponent kept him on the defense throughout the encounter and, ultimately, almost a no-show on the scorecards.
Monaghan established his jab early on and used it for the entirety of the fight to set up solid rights and to bully George into the ropes. He showed great punch variety, and kept focused on his game plan and in control from the opening bell to the final round.
The fight opened with George slowly working the perimeter and Monaghan putting his jab to work. George tested Monaghan with some hard rights, but Monaghan took them well, and if anything gained confidence and continued his attack.
In the second round, George immediately took to the back foot, with Monaghan following him behind single jabs and short combinations. George tried standing his ground and changing the flow of the fight, but Monaghan’s power soon had him on the defensive.
In the third round Monaghan continued pressing behind his jab and scored well to the body when George found himself against the ropes. By the second half of the round, George was looking broken down and tired.
Monaghan’s success improved into the fourth round. George’s inactive was an invitation to Monaghan’s combinations and body work, and he gladly obliged.
George came out on fire up in the fifth round after the ring doctor threatened to stop the fight. And George meant it, landing flush right hands on the hometown favorite to open the round. But Monaghan kept his cool and kept to the gameplan, pressing with jabs, combinations, and uppercuts. A desperate George went for broke nearing the end of the round, winging big shots, but Monaghan shut him down with a flush headshot at sound of the bell.
Arms by his waste, with nothing to lose, George came back for more in the sixth round and showed he still had something left in the tank, landing a beautiful shovel hook to open the round. Monaghan kept up the attacks with work to the body, left hooks, and that thudding jab and took the frame.
The seventh round saw more of the same, with Monaghan pressing and George eating leather and asking for more. Monaghan appeared take some force off of his punches, no longer looking for an early end to the fight.
Monaghan kept it up in the eighth, working well with George against the ropes. George’s increasing inactivity wasn’t enough to deter Monaghan in the least, but George was taking the punches and looked like he was in for the long haul.
George came out working the jab and hook in the ninth frame and put together one of his best rounds, but Monaghan’s activity and aggression easily carried the round.
The final round kicked off with an alert George trading jab for jab with Monaghan, and for the first time had Monaghan walking backwards. But, again, Seanie, stepped on the gas and quickly squelched the moment of drama by pressuring the visiting fighter back on the defense. A series of hot exchanged ended the fight and we went to the scorecards.
Watch what a proud Don George had to say after the fight:
Current WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight champ Sean Monaghan, of Long Island, New York, had last been in action with a ninth-round stoppage of Columbian Fulgencio Zuniga in March. Going into the Zuniga encounter, 34-year-old Monaghan had outpointed palooka Cleiton Conceicao and routed Daniel Regi.
Fighting out of Chicago, Illinois, Donovan George was coming off a 14-month lay off following a failed drug test that overturned his decision win over Dyah Davis in. Prior to the Davis fight, George, 31 years old, had TKO’d journeyman Troy Lowry after being stopped by Caleb Truax back in March of 2013.