Ghanaian boxer Isaac Dogboe has promised to floor Japan’s Hidenori Otake in his WBO Super Bantamweight title defence in Phoenix, Arizona on August 25.
The 23-year-old from Accra won his belt by defeating Mexico’s Jessie Magdaleno in Philadelphia in April, but faces a much tougher challenge in Otake, whose 36-3 (14 KOs) record makes for impressive reading.
In fact, the 37-year-old has won his last nine fights — five by knockout — but Dogboe is confident he will get the win … and improve his own record to 20-0.
“I am not taking anything away from Hidenori Otake, but I will knock him out … there’s no doubt it,” he told KweséESPN.
“I know he is a fighter avoided by many champions, but the thing with us [Team Dogboe] is that the champions others are willing to avoid, are the people we want to fight.
“He hasn’t lost a fight in four years; nine fights in four years, five of them coming by way of knockout. The guy is a compact fighter, a very strong fighter, and we are not taking him lightly, but everything is going on smoothly. I feel great.
“I am calm and only thinking of how to execute the fight plan because come August 25, we will be out there to set Arizona ablaze.”
The fight against Otake is still almost three weeks away, but Dogboe said he is already looking beyond that.
“Otake is a strong, credible fighter and, like I said, many champions have been running away from him. We believe there’s a real challenge — he stands in the way of me having my unification fight with other world champions — but regardless of what comes up, we will get through it and come out with victory.
“We definitely know that on August 25 we are coming with a knockout victory. I want to unify this title, God willing.”
Dogboe’s father and trainer, Paul, is slightly more circumspect when it comes to predicting a knockout victory, though he is backing his son to improve his already impressive record.
“He says he is going for a knockout. I am not going to say that, but if he says a knockout, I love a knockout, the world wants to see a knockout, so why not?
“Isaac is built and he is solid now to knock anybody out. He knocked out the world champion [Magdaleno], so why can’t he knock Otake out?”
Dogboe Snr feels his young fighter has all the makings of a champion, as proven in the fight against Magdaleno, where he got knocked to the canvas in the first round, only to recover for a 11th round TKO win.
“Boxers go down, but it’s how you can get back up and win the fight, and that was what he did. That tells the world he is a real champion.”