George (Comanche Boy) Tahdooahnippah has won yet another prestigious award. But this time the boxer, who has Comanche and Choctaw ancestry, is not being honored solely for his efforts inside the ring.
Tahdooahnippah is among those who have been selected for the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 2011 Native American 40 Under 40 Award.
He is scheduled to receive his accolade at the Indian Progress in Business Awards Event (INPRO), scheduled for Sept. 8 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Tahdooahnippah, 32, is undefeated as a pro boxer. He sports a record of 28-0-1. And he captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas middleweight belt on July 16, during a bout located in his hometown of Lawton, Okla.
Besides his efforts inside the ring, Tahdooahnippah was also selected as a national 40 Under 40 award winner as he also works as a health and fitness promoter for the Comanche Nation’s Diabetes Program.
“I’m honored and kind of surprised and most of all definitely humbled by this award,” Tahdooahnippah said. “I didn’t expect it. It came out of the blue. It’s not like being in a title fight where I know I’m fighting for a belt.”
This marks the 36th year that the INPRO event will be held. It includes an American Indian business opportunity fair where officials from businesses, corporations, tribal enterprises and government agencies can have meetings and network.
And this signifies the third year the INPRO event has also been where the recipients of the Native American 40 Under 40 awards have been honored. As their name implies, awards are presented to 40 American Indian leaders, under the age of 40, who have demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication to achieve impressive and significant contributions in their businesses, communities and to Indian country.
Tahdooahnippah has worked as a health and fitness promoter for the past two and a half years. Prior to that he worked five years as an environmentalist for the Comanche Nation.
His current position sees him doing a lot of public speaking to various Native groups. Because of the large number of Natives who have diabetes, he tries to preach about the benefits of starting and maintaining a workout program.
“I implement the programs and then push hard for all Native American, and not just Comanches, to stick with it,” he said.
Tahdooahnippah is planning to attend the awards banquet in Florida with Marilyn Figueroa, the director of the Comanche Nation’s Diabetes Program. Though he has yet to learn about all of the details, Tahdooahnippah said officials with the World Boxing Council also plan to honor him for winning the 40 Under 40 award. He is expected to receive that accolade during the WBC convention, set for Dec. 11-17 in Las Vegas.
As for his boxing career, it’s on hold for the next few months. That’s because Tahdooahnippah tore his right bicep in his July title match. This injury required surgery to repair and now with three months of rehab, he’s not expecting to step into the ring again until 2012.
“It’s just a bump in the road,” he said. “I’ve never really gotten injured in my athletic career before.”
Tahdooahnippah is confident he will regain all of his strength following his injury. “It will be 100 per cent,” he said. And then, in an attempt to show off some of his boxing swagger, he added: “Actually, I’ve been told it will be 200 per cent.”