George (Comanche Boy) Tahdooahnippah has not had a boxing match since this past July when he captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas middleweight title.
Tahdooahnippah, who has Comanche and Choctaw ancestry, has not fought since as he tore his right bicep en route to his victory during that July bout. But he will make his return to the ring on February 25, in a bout which will be staged at the First Councils Casino Hotel in Newkirk, Oklahoma.
As of February 2, an opponent for Tahdooahnippah had yet to be announced. He'll have a huge say in who he faces though as Tahdooahnippah has also entered the promotions game. His company, Comanche Boy Productions, is co-promoting the Feb. 25 event along with HD Boxing, a well-established, Oklahoma-based promotions firm. With just more than three weeks remaining until his comeback bout, Tahdooahnippah was not concerned he did not know who he would be facing.
"It doesn't matter who I fight," said Tahdooahnippah, who is undefeated as a pro, sporting a 28-0-1 record, including 21 knockouts. "I'm an adaptable opponent. I'll be prepared for the 25th and take care of business."
Tahdooahnippah, who lives in Lawton, Oklahoma, said he had picked an opponent for his comeback fight. But he had to alter that plan after that boxer suffered an injury. He was then forced to go through a list of several other possible opponents. But he's not anticipating a serious challenge.
"It will just be a tuneup fight," said the 33-year-old. "It will be my comeback fight to get me back into the groove again." Tahdooahnippah had surgery to repair his bicep on July 26, 10 days after winning his WBC belt.
"I honestly didn't think I'd be fighting until July again," he said.
He considers himself rather fortunate at not having to wait that long.
"It's been a long road back," he added. "It was a slow and discouraging process. For the first three months I was doing nothing. For the first month I wasn't even allowed to run." Tahdooahnippah though healed somewhat quicker than expected. He was given the green light to resume all-out training during the second week of December.
I just have to get the strength back (in my right arm)," he said. "My strength isn't what it was before. But I should be at 100 per cent by Feb. 25. I could do everything I could do before. It's just not as strong. But I'm getting there. I'm getting there."
And Tahdooahnippah is not worried at all about re-injuring himself.
"My surgeon has said he has never had a torn bicep be torn again," he said.
Tahdooahnippah, who likes fighting at 175 pounds, said he did put on some weight during his recovery period.
"I got up to the mid-80s (around 185 pounds), that's all I want to say," he said. "But I'm at 175 now and still coming down a bit." As for becoming a promoter, Tahdooahnippah said that's something he's considered doing for a long while.
"It's a shame we don't have more Native American promoters," he said. "I'm going to help North American fighters and all fighters in general." Tahdooahnippah added he is keen to promote events at locations across the country. And he believes he'll be concentrating on staging shows at facilities housing Native Americans casino and resorts.
He expects he'll be a co-promoter of bouts for awhile before going solo.
"I'm sure it will be a couple of shows (with other partners)," he said. "And then I'll be off and running on my own."
After this month's bout, Tahdooahnippah is planning to have another fight - one in which he is expected to defend his WBC belt - at some point in April. Because of his injury, WBC officials granted him an extension up until April of when he would be forced to defend his title. If a bout is not set up by April he would be stripped of his crown and the belt would become vacant, allowing a pair of others to challenge for the crown. Tahdooahnippah is also hoping to remain rather active in the coming years.
"After this I'll probably have four fights a year," he said. "They'll be good fights and good opponents."