Isaac Dogboe closer to title shot after beating Joet Gonzalez by split decision

Isaac Dogboe moved closer to a crack at a featherweight title after beating Joet Gonzalez in a 10-round split decision at Grand Casino Hinckley in Minnesota.

The 27-year-old Ghanaian just about did enough to convince the judges to award him the victory despite a late round rally from his American opponent.

All three judges turned in scores of 96-94, two for Dogoe and one for Gonzalez. Dogboe won the 10th round on all three cards, which gave him the victory.

Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs) has now won four consecutive fights, three by judges decisions, since he lost back-to-back fights to Emanuel Navarrete in 2018 and 2019, the second time by a knockout.

"I wanna say a big thank you to Joet Gonzalez," Dogboe told ESPN. "He's a true warrior. And, you know, his team, they prepared him really well."

Dogboe could now fight Navarrete for a third time, as he is now the mandatory challenger for his WBO belt. However, the Mexican might leave the title vacant if he steps up a weight.

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Gonzalez, lost a non-title fight for the first time in 10 years as a pro.

"A close fight," Gonzalez said. "I thought I won the fight. You know, I buckled him I believe twice in the fight. I stunned him. He didn't really land too many shots. I landed the cleaner, harder shots. I was pushing him back and, you know, he was holding me most of the time, you know, roughing me up, trying to hold me, trying to stop me. But I thought I won the fight."

Dogboe paid tribute to trainer Barry Hunter: "I've always seen Barry as a very inspirational person, a father figure.

"He's a person that when it seems like it's all gone, he always has something to say to you. I really needed him in my corner. He was able to pull that extra strength in me out."

"My journey could be a Hollywood blockbuster movie.

"It doesn't matter what fight you're in. Regardless of wherever there is darkness, keep on going through it. Because at the end of the day you will surely see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"Whoever the champions are, they should watch out. The 'Royal Storm,' I am back, baby!"

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