Ghana’s World Boxing Organisation (WBO) world super bantamweight champion, Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe, will make his fourth and final ring outing of the year when he fights Mexico’s Emanuel Navarrete tonight with an aim to ending 2018 on a high note with another spectacular victory.
Undefeated Dogboe defends his title at the famous Madison Square Gardens in New York, and is already predicting that Navarrete — his third Mexican opponent this year — will go down the same way as his compatriots, Cesar Juraez and Jessie Magdaleno.
Dogboe knocked out highly rated Juarez and Magdaleno in grand style early in the year despite going into both fights as the underdog.
He stopped Juarez in the fifth round at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra on January 6 to win the WBO Interim title before dethroning Magdaleno four months later in the USA to claim the WBO crown.
Having chalked up an impressive record of 20 wins from as many bouts with 14 KOs to his name, Dogboe will face one of the best fighters in his division with Navarrete standing in his way and a successful title defence and to possibly avenge painful losses suffered by his compatriots, Juarez and Magdaleno.
Similar aggression would be expected from the Ghanaian pugilist as he aims to defeat Navarrete in order to realise his title unification ambition next year against either WBC champion, Rey Vargas or WBA titlist, Daniel Roman.
After two spectacular victories, Dogboe’s popularity is soaring in American boxing circles, as he fights live on ESPN under Top Rank Promotions. And with his mantra “Neho”, which means “uprooted” in his native Ewe dialect, the WBO champion is building the kind of image the boxing industry craves for.
In promoting the fight, Top Rank has splashed Dogboe’s image giant billboards at New York’s famous Times Square, an indication of his growing clout in America.
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Another spectacular victory over Navarrete will further boost his image and cement his tag as the “Mexican Assassin” and put him in line for bigger payday next year.
The 24-year-old Ghanaian has reiterated his desire to “uproot” any opponent that crosses his path to chasing his dreams to become a multiple weight division champion.
In the buildup to Saturday’s title defence, the champion and his father-cum-trainer, Paul, have predicted a knockout victory tomorrow at one of boxing’s most hallowed arenas where some of the greatest fights took place, including Muhammad Ali’s two showdowns with Joe Frazier and Azumah Nelson’s maiden shot at a world title against Salvadore Sanchez in 1982.
Dogboe rose to fame early this year when he destroyed Juarez and hard-hitting Magdaleno with an emphatic performance which made him the eighth recognised world champion from Ghana, as well as the youngest Ghanaian to hold a world title at 23 years.
Navarrete, on the other hand, boasts impressive knockout victories in his last eight fights but faces what could be the toughest bout of his career against a fearsome Ghanaian puncher.
The Mexican will be coming into the fight on the back of an impressive 20-fight winning streak which has seen him gone unbeaten in six years and makes him a credible threat to Dogboe’s crown.