Within the last few years, Texas has become the breeding ground for some young and talented fighters who are champions or are on the brink of being something special.
Recently, I conducted a Q n A on Joshua Franco, who is from Texas by way of San Antonio, so I’m staying within the great state and heading towards Dallas.
This interview is with Golden Boy Promotions’ own George Rincon (10-0), who is from Dallas and currently resides in Carollton, TX.
Rincon is a junior welterweight southpaw who had a little bit of a late start to his pro career but is trying to make up for lost time.
At age 28, Rincon is looking to accelerate his career as much as possible in an effort to reach some goals by the end of next year.
Get to know George Rincon as he has an interesting story and will quite possibly be a name people will know in the near future.
AG: George, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. Before we get into your professional career and things leading up to it, let the readers know a little about yourself and what it was like to grow up in the Rincon household.
GR: I have a brother (Alex Rincon, 7-0 as a pro) who is about three years younger than me but happens to be taller.
Growing up, it was boxing all of the time and at first the focus was on me as my dad was pushing me to get into it while my mother was pushing me on the education side. Eventually, my brother jumped in when he was about ten or eleven. We are a tight-knit family, which is why I have such a close bond with my brother. Even though my brother started to really box a little later than I did, he was always in the gym with me, even sparring before getting into boxing. Again, growing up, I did have both of my parents but unfortunately they split up when I was a senior in high school. Boxing was everything so when we got out of school, we had about an hour to eat, chill and then get ready to go to the gym. Then after the gym, I would eat, shower, do school work and then do it all again the next day which lasted all the way until I graduated high school.
AG: I’ve seen some video interviews that you have done where you mentioned starting boxing when you were eight years old. How did that come about? Were you interested in the sport at that age or was it more so that your father wanted you to get into boxing?
GR: It was definitely my dad as he bought my first pair of boxing gloves before I was even born. What inspired him was that his grandfather boxed and his father was a professional fighter in Mexico in the late 50s. My father got into it a little bit with a couple of amateur fights but once I was born, I used to follow him around in the gym and that’s when he stopped boxing and focused on me.
AG: Let’s get into your amateur career because you had an extensive one and often times, that gives fighters an advantage when turning pro. Let the readers know what the amateur career consisted of and why you turned pro a lot later, at 23 years old, than what we are used to seeing.
GR: I had a little over 230 amateur fights which consisted of over 200 wins and around 30 losses. The Olympics was the reason, as in 2008 when that came around, I barely missed it because of my age. I was seventeen at the time. The Olympics was a big goal of mine and I wanted to try my best and make the Olympic Team. We decided to wait, and over the years, went through all of the national tournaments. In the summer of 2011, I eventually made it to the Olympic trials but I was not able to make the team. I stayed in the amateurs for another year and then decided to go pro.
AG: What would you say is the biggest adjustment you had to make going from the amateur system into the pros?
GR: Of course the no head gear and the size of the gloves, which makes you feel like you’re lighter. It’s also the work you have to put in as in the amateurs, you are training for three, 3-minute rounds but in the pros, even for a four round fight, you have to train for five or six rounds.
AG: Your first professional fight was in Fort Worth, TX which is about a 30-45 minute drive from Dallas. How did it feel before getting into the ring and what type of emotions were running through you at that time?
GR: Most people think you get nervous as you’re going from an amateur to a pro, especially being in front of your friends and family but I was waiting for it to hit me and instead I was just really calm. Of course I had some butterflies in my stomach, especially being in front of family and friends but I got over it. I think it was because I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I remained calm and focused throughout the fight.
AG: Starting out your professional career, you weren’t too busy but in 2019, your activity spiked and it looked as though 2020 was heading in the same direction prior to the pandemic hitting. What was the reason for the inactivity?
GR: When I started, I didn’t really have a lot of people around me giving advice and I was thinking if I should have turned pro a year earlier or if I should have waited a little longer. If I were to give anyone advice, I would say to wait for the right time to turn pro, even if you have to wait a little longer as it may be a better situation. I got a fight from a local promoter just to get my career going and possibly sign to a major company later on. I ended up signing with Cameron Dunkin and that didn’t go too well which led to me being on the shelf for 8-9 months. Once I was able to get out of that contract, I started fighting again and eventually met my current manager, Lamont Roach Sr.
AG: In January of this year, you fought Diego Perez and after the fight, it was reported by some outlets that you had a seizure in the ring. How are you feeling now and are you cleared to fight? Is this a concern for you moving forward with your career?
GR: I didn’t know that it was reported that I had a seizure until I was in the hospital and when I watched the fight on my phone, I heard the broadcast say that it was a seizure. It was not a seizure, as I just so happened to pass out. When I saw the people over me, my first thought was whether I got knocked out but then I realized what happened. I’m feeling good now, I did take a little break after that fight to make sure everything was ok.
AG: You are currently campaigning at junior welterweight and that division has some big names like Josh Taylor, Jose Ramirez and Regis Prograis to name a few. When do you think you will be ready to face that level of competition and do you feel that time is against you as you will be turning 29 in January?
GR: The plan was for the end of next year is to fight for a small title. I do have the talent and skills to fight some of the bigger names in the division. I know the amateurs and the pros are different but I have faced a lot of the current big names in the amateurs and beat some of those guys. By the end of next year or the beginning of the following, I will be ready to face those top names.
AG: While we are all in Quarantine, how have you stayed in shape and if boxing were to start up again soon, how much time would you need to be ready for a fight after a condensed training camp?
GR: I’ve been running and lucky for me, I have a heavy and speed bag here at my mom’s garage. My father turned the garage into a gym a while back so we have the things we need to stay in shape. We are staying as busy as we can with the things we have available. I’ve kept busy binge watching shows and trying to stay away from the sweets. In regards to fighting again, as soon as the doors open, the first thing I need to do is get that sparring in. If I can get max sparring, I would be ready in four or five weeks especially if I’m trying to get into one of those spots given the current situation.
AG: Anything you want to let the readers know that haven’t followed you before but will now track your career after reading this article? Also, where can they follow you on social media?
GR: Don’t forget the name, Team Rincon, the Rincon brothers are coming up. Some people know us and some will get to know us, and I know that I have the skills to be one of the top fighters in the world. My time will come soon! You can follow me on twitter @Rincon_Boxing18 and on Instagram @georgerincon92.
George Rincon is a savvy southpaw who is in a division that looks to possibly be up for grabs by the end of next year when the majority of the champions and big names move up to welterweight. The key for him is to stay busy as much as possible for the remainder of the year and see where he lands next year in the rankings. He has a positive attitude and a work ethic that looks to prove that he has the tools necessary to become a champion in the future. Keep an eye out for this Texan once boxing comes back in the next couple of months.