It wasn’t even close. Ghana has a world champion once again. Isaac Dogboe dropped Cesar Juarez in the first with a left hook, and then flattened him with that same punch in the fifth round to win the interim WBO World super bantamweight title on Saturday night in front of a capacity crowd of 4,000 at Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra, Ghana.
“God is great,” an elated Dogboe exclaimed afterward. “I am very thankful to the almighty God for giving me this victory. Like I said, all of my battles belong to the Lord.”
If so, the Lord granted him a one-sided victory in a statement performance. The combatants went toe-to-toe from the opening bell. Dogboe showed no fear of his more experienced foe, wading in and unloading power shots.
As Juarez fired back, “Royal Storm” followed up a right with a perfect counter left hook. Juarez crashed to the canvas, rising on unsteady legs. Dogboe sought to close the show, but the gritty Mexican covered up well.
Dogboe continued to control the action in the second and third, alternating between boxing and brawling. Juarez refused to go quietly into the night, working Dogboe’s midsection and taking body blows in return.
They fought on even terms in the fourth. Dogboe was clearly the better boxer. But Juarez never stopped coming.
The action heated up again in the fifth. After a brief clinch, Dogboe expertly disguised a powerful lead left hook that caught Juarez just as he dropped his hands. Juarez sagged to the canvas, his body separated from his senses. He struggled to his feet and had an even tougher time standing on them, causing referee Tony Weeks to call off the action.
Dogboe is Ghana’s first world champion since Joseph Agbeko in 2010. Next up is a bout versus WBO world titlist Jessie Magdaleno. The two sparred when Dogboe was 20-years-old and 4-0.
“Those sessions were wars,” recalls father and trainer Paul Dogboe. “The first time they sparred, they stood in the center of the ring and neither fighter would move back. It was supposed to be a 10-rounder, but they stopped it after six. Afterward, [Magdaleno trainer] Joel Diaz said, ‘Oh my goodness! This kid reminds me of Azumah Nelson!’”
Diaz’s word have now been proven prophetic. Can his fighter overcome that prophecy? We’ll find out soon enough but, for now, Ghana has plenty to celebrate. Isaac Dogboe is indeed, the real deal.