The first title-winner of 2018 is a young lion from Ghana. Before his countrymen last night at the Bukom Boxing Arena, 23-year old Isaac Dogboe scored two knockdowns off left hooks to capture the WBO interim super bantamweight title.
MAKING THE VISITOR UNCOMFORTABLE: Many of you will remember Juarez for his Fight of the Year-level battle with Nonito Donaire back in 2015. He’s highly durable, a relentless stalker and bruising body puncher. Dogboe made a statement in the opening minute by starting fast and backing Juarez up with heavy left hooks and blows to the body. The phone-booth fighting stunned Juarez and made him give ground.
Dogboe couldn’t maintain this the entire opening round, but he didn’t need to. He imprinted o Juarez’s psyche that he could hurt him and it made the Mexican slugger a more hesitant when he got inside. That allowed the faster Dogboe to control the action from the backfoot and time counter left hooks.
EXPLOITING THE DEFENSIVE HOLES: The left hook counter hit paydirt in the second. Juarez was dropping his right hand when throwing left jabs and hooks, and Dogboe detonated a left hook on the jaw for the first knockdown. Juarez was hurt but able to withstand Dogboe’s follow-up shots.
The pattern replicated for the next three rounds with Juarez continuing to come forward, but unable to trap the Ghanian long enough to work the body and slow him down.
The end came in the fifth when Dogboe launched a perfect left hook on an incoming Juarez. The Mexican fighter had a delayed reaction and staggered aimlessly before crashing to his back. Juarez beat the count, but his dazed demeanor prompted referee Tony Weeks to halt the contest.
THE LION OF GHAHA: The win gives Dogboe the interim WBO super bantamweight title and makes him the mandatory for Jessie Magdaleno, who is looking for an opponent on a March 10 card at California’s StubHub Center. Dogboe wasted no time in the post-fight interview in declaring his availability for that date.
“Jessie Magdaleno, I’m coming for you, baby!” Dogboe vowed. “I know you’re gonna run, but the Lion of Ghana is here! The Pound 4 Pound king is here!”
The fight is a no-brainer in terms of excitement; it’s pitting two undefeated guys in their athletic primes together. However, I’m not sure if the money can be put together to get this done by March. Also, I could see Magdaleno, who last fought in April scoring a second-round TKO over Adeilson Dos Santos, wanting a tune-up before facing a hard-punching dynamo like Dogboe.