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Isaac Dogboe edges Joet Gonzalez in Featherweight battle

Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe’s future was cloudy following back-to-back junior featherweight title fight losses to Emanuel Navarrete. Now, his future is brighter than ever.

Ghana’s Dogboe defeated two-time title challenger Joet Gonzalez by a 10-round split decision in the featherweight main event Saturday evening at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota. The bout was a WBC title eliminator, and Dogboe won the WBO International title, putting him in a prime position to challenge for a world title.

Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs), who won the first three rounds on two of the scorecards, swept the 10th to earn the win by scores of 96-94 on two cards. Gonzalez prevailed by the same margin on the other card.

Dogboe said, “I said to the people that my journey can be a Hollywood blockbuster movie, and I praise God always.

“I’ve always seen {trainer} Barry {Hunter} 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. I want to say thanks to Joet Gonzalez. He’s a true warrior.

“Whoever the champions are, they should watch out. The ‘Royal Storm,’ I am back, baby!”

Gonzalez (25-3, 15 KOs), who outlanded Dogboe 197-190, believed he did enough to earn the win. Last October, he lost a 12-round barnburner to Navarrete in his second bid for the WBO featherweight title. Despite falling short, he still hopes a third title opportunity is in his future.

“Close fight. I thought I won the fight. I buckled him, I believe, twice in the fight. I stunned him,” Gonzalez said. “He didn’t really land too many shots. I landed the cleaner, harder shots. I was pushing him back, and he was holding most of the time. Roughing me and trying to stop me. But I thought I won the fight.”

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