Widely looked at as the best fight on the ESPN fight card, the tangible result matched the expectation. 🇬🇭🇬🇧Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe (22-2-0, 15KO) started off hot, but was vulnerable down the stretch due to a strong, concerted effort from 🇺🇸Adam “Blunose” Lopez (15-3-0, 6KO) through 10 rounds of grueling, entertaining back and forth action. The verdict itself is a debatable one, but the judges favored Dogboe’s early work, which resulted in a Majority Decision win for the Ghanaian fighter by way of the United Kingdom over A gutted Lopez who thought he’d done enough to receive the win verdict.
The pressure fighter Dogboe early on appeared to be too quick for Lopez in the early goings, but it was also noteworthy that Adam was a little tight with nervousness going against the former Titlist, and with expectations heaped upon him. Dogboe connected the combinations well early, mixing it up to the head and body, with left hands, right hooks, and a sustained body attack, pressuring Blunose, and even out-boxing him in quite a few instances, despite being the shorter of the two men in height, with the lesser reach.
The tide of the fight started to change when Lopez landed a beautiful counter uppercut on the inside during the third round, and his confidence grew from there. One of Dogboe’s weaknesses is that he overcommits and leans over the front foot too often, and it became clear that Lopez, aided by Trainer Buddy McGirt, prepared, and set out to exploit that in this fight. From there, Lopez got his jab going, and made Dogboe fight backing up, which is another area in which Isaac is not particularly effective at.
Adam’s momentum slipped for the next couple of rounds, as Dogboe was able to time and counter him whenever Adam committed from mid distance. Perhaps it was the fast start from Dogboe, but he appeared to start losing gas midway around the 6th stanza, and Lopez began to let his hands go in combination. Here is where the tide of the fight shifted again.
Blunose has a great chin apparently, because Dogboe can seriously bomb, but he absorbed the punches rather well, and it didn’t deter him from his 1-2 combination work that he began to string together. Isaac had a nice 7th round. We don’t really think of Dogboe as an elite defender, but he had an impressive 20-second sequence in the 8th round when Lopez unloaded, which most of them were picked off.
Lopez a half minute after that display did catch Dogboe flush with an inside uppercut, and Adam pressured him like a madman. He isn’t a dynamite puncher, but he started putting extra mustard on some of these shots by this point of the contest.
As Dogboe was pedaling backwards out of harms way, trying to get his bearings back after being hurt, one wonders if he had flashbacks of the extreme punishment that he took from now-WBO Featherweight World Titlist 🇲🇽Emanuel Navarrete, as his confidence began to wane in front of Lopez, while Blunose was looking to catch up to him and put him down, and ultimately out, with the lumber he was throwing. The 9th round was a strong one for spectators at Virgin Hotels to.
Dogboe tried to fight him toe to toe early get his back his respect, but in between his punches, the aggressive Lopez landed a sweeping right hand that shook the legs of the African fighter, hurting him once again. Adam’s will being displayed down the stretch was impressive enough to make a note of it, as one who would do anything he could possibly do in order to get his signature victory.
Through the pain, Dogboe fought tough, though he looked bewildered, swinging wildly and often missing the target – evidence of the damage done, and the stamina tank going dry. Lopez was hellbent, as he often parked inside, and repeatedly belted Isaac with uppercuts from both fists, and impactful left hooks to the body the entire 9th round.
Midway through the round, Bluenose switched to southpaw, which made the Dogboe punishment even worse, he was in real trouble at that particular moment. Somehow Dogboe was able to take that punishment, dishing enough out in his fight or flight response to the accumulation of punishment.
In the 10th and final round, both understanding the fight was hanging in the balance, went full 100% aggression after the glove touch, and gave every once of what they had left, and they both badly wanted this victory. Dogboe had his moments for sure, but in the 50/50 exchanges, Adam slightly had the upper hand, being able to getting his power punches effectively to the target a little quicker, and inflicting the bulk of the damage.
The last round was violent, and a potential Round of the Year candidate. They traded blows all the way to the final bell, and the respect was immediately apparent by both proud warriors in the aftermath. The question was how were the judges going to perceive the action that had transpired throughout these 30 minutes of action?
By ways of close scorecards (one official card was errant, will put out which one), 🇬🇭Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe got his hand raised. You could see the disappointment seeped in Adam Lopez face and demeanor, though he should be proud of his efforts, and has a case to be made that he probably should have gotten the nod there. These are the tough losses warriors hate to deal with.
Me personally, I had the fight even. When a fight is even, I tend to favor whoever has a stronger second half to the fight if I’m to determine a winner out of the gridlock, or in ranking a fighter, but that’s just my own rationale towards it, there are plenty different ideologies out there to abide by that are credible as well. Who you have winning the fight is essentially your call…but this one was certainly close enough to make worthy the debate.