Something blew inside Chicago’s UIC Pavilion during ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, and it wasn’t just the wind. Hometown fighter Donovan “Da Bomb” George was handed a dud of a decision against fellow middleweight David Lopez, a split decision draw in a fight he clearly should have won.
The right hand of George landed hard and often throughout the first four of the scheduled 10 rounds, at times staggering Lopez and slicing his left eyelid in the process. The southpaw Lopez settled down in the 5th and set up combinations off his jab. A Lopez left hook that landed seconds prior to the bell nearly floored George.
Still, through six rounds, George (24-3-2, 21 KOs) connected with 64 of his power punches at a staggering 54 percent while Lopez landed 47 at a respectable 32 percent. Even if they split the following four rounds, George outlanded Lopez 121-105 at a 25-16 percent advantage going into the 10th round. Then there’s the grenade right hand with 30 ticks left that sent Lopez staggering backward.
Judges scored the bout 97-94 for Lopez, 96-94 for George and 95-95.
Lopez, the eternally game 18-year veteran, hadn’t fought since May and weighed in at his heaviest (162) since 2007. By contrast, George continued his quest to campaign at middleweight by coming in at 163, his lightest in five years.
As controversy is commonplace in the realm of the sweet science, welterweights Adrian Granados and Kermit Cintron also tangled to a disputed split decision draw. The 10-round co-main event was a jabless and frustrating affair that appeared to favor the pace of Granados over the reluctance of Cintron, who entered at his lightest since 2008.
At eight minutes in, Granados (9-1-2, 5 KOs) held the lead in connected power punches at 17 to 9, a pattern that became repetitive round by round. Cintron (33-5-2, 28 KOs) showed some spurts of life, squeezing the trigger with a minute remaining in the fourth to steal the round. Both had developed souvenirs of the bout by the halfway mark, with Granados split across the bridge of his nose and Cintron pawing at the blood that dripped from above his left eye.
It was the first time Granados had been past eight rounds, but it didn’t stop him from trying to finish off Cintron late in the final frame with a right hand down the pipe. Alas, there was neither a knockdowns nor a point deduction that could potentially counteract menial scoring. Official cards read: 96-94 for Granados, 97-93 for Cintron and 95-95. TQBR was partial to Granados at 98-92.
Also on the card, Hairon Socarras bested Sergio Montes de Oca by unanimous decision in a four-round featherweight fight. Socarras remains undefeated at 7-0-1 with 5 knockouts.