This was pressure cooker stuff for Isaac Dogboe. More like a David-versus-Goliath situation where Goliath triumphs.
Nothing different from what was seen in the first fight last December. The sweet smell of Mexican flavour flowing through the Convention Centre in Arizona. Navarrette had it. Crowd support, power, tactics, composure. Everything. From the offset, the Mexican Emmanuel Navarrette controlled the fight and played it all to his advantage till he finally won with a technical knockout in the 12thround.
Punch after punch, round after round Naverrette kept coming into his own, making fewer mistakes and using his merits to overpower the minuscule Isaac Dogboe. By the 8thround, Navarrette had landed 47% of his punches. He looked comfortable all through the bout.
“I am very surprised that he took so many hard shots. I am surprised at how long it took him before he went down. I thank Dogboe for giving me an opportunity to confirm my status as a champion to the world,” the champion said after the bout with his chest really high.
Navarrette threw everything at his opponent. Everything he had in his armoury; reach, height, power. All he used to great effect against the little man.
Dogboe looked decent in Round One. His corner looked to have it really covered up until the third when Navarrette’s offence started working to top level.
The idea of rematches is to correct, fine-tune rough edges and return to make things better but this in no way looked like that. Navarrette kept pushing into Dogboe and using his long reach to keep Dogboe at arm’s length.
In the fourth round, a brilliant combination of punches, body shots and uppercuts left Dogboe’s legs wobbly. The Ghanaian hit the canvas in the final seconds of the round. That moment in many ways is where Dogboe started losing the fight.
Aside from having a better fight plan, Navarrette had a perspicacious corner. They knew what they wanted. Dogboe still tried to move in and work Navarrette’s body but his combinations didn’t really trouble the champion.
At the start of Round 8, Dogboe looked to the heavens. Somehow seeking inspiration from there to help continue what looked like a lost cause. He looked better in the round though but his flurry of punches were all answered by the champion, who relied on overhand right shots and left uppercuts. Navarrette kept landing.
Nothing will strike Dogboe more than this. Another loss to the same opponent only means one thing.
“The fight was not over. It is not over until it actually is. Hats off to him. He did a great job being the champion,” Dogboe said after the fight.
Dogboe lost the title in December. Five months on, he has lost it again to the same man which is never a good look on any boxer.
“I would love to let everyone be aware that the Super Bantamweight division is becoming very challenging for me to make the weight. My next fight, I will be moving to the 126kg division. I believe that I will much more comfortable at that level. It is a struggle making 122kg. We will surely meet again,” Dogboe added when he was asked about his next move, his future.
Dogboe may be down now but he certainly is not out. The big question will be raised about his corner of which his dad superintends.
As a former champion, all of this will be hard to take but as the adage goes, “If you cannot take a defeat, you cannot take a win”.
Dogboe will return another time and the pasture will be greener. NeHo.
By Yaw Ofosu Larbi|3news.com|Ghana