On Saturday, January 6th, the Ghana boxing world will obtain the answer to the question many have asked: Is Isaac Dogboe the real deal?
Can the “Royal Storm” enhance the country’s rich fistic legacy? Boxing has deep roots in Ghana’s history. Floyd “Klutei” Robertson was a touted boxer in the during the nation’s early years. D.K. Poison was the first to win a world title for her. The great Azumah Nelson is widely considered Africa’s greatest boxer. And Ike Quartey, Nana Yaw Konadu, Joshua Clottey, Joseph Agbeko and Richard Commey have continued the storied line of premier warriors.
What then of Dogboe? The 23-year-old, diminutive junior featherweight has amassed a sparkling 17-0 (11 KO’s) record yet is largely untested. Some were disturbed by his uneven performance versus Neil John Tabanao in 2016. Dogboe bounced back with two wins that were so impressive, many now believe he’s Azumah’s heir.
There’s no denying Dogboe’s hunger, nor the unwavering confidence both he and father/trainer Paul Dogboe possess. Those qualities will be tested this Saturday when he battles Mexico’s Cesar Juarez for the interim WBO World super bantamweight title.
The fight will be held at the Bukom Boxing Arena, giving Dogboe the homefield advantage. But the experienced Juarez expressed no concern over fighting on enemy territory.
“This is nothing new for me,” he said. “I was never in the hands of a promoter that protected me, so I know that I have to go in there and look for the knockout from the first bell to the last as I want no surprises with a bad decision. I am ready for war, and that’s what I want to deliver to the fans, a fight that they will remember for a long time.”
Dogboe is facing an opponent wise enough to know that opportunities are few and far between, but at 26, young enough to still capitalize on them.
Some believe it’s all too soon for Isaac. But the greatest risk in life is not taking one. On Saturday night, he’ll attempt to join the long line of greats from his country who’ve hoisted a world title in the air. By daring to accomplish this feat, he’s already a winner.