It was a dream come true Saturday night as 23-year-old Isaac Dogboe became the youngest world champion in Ghana’s rich boxing history after stopping Jessie Magdaleno in the 11th round to win the WBO super bantamweight championship in Philadelphia.
Dogboe (19-0, 13 KO) started rough, as Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KO) dropped the challenger in the opening round. But Dogboe, who had never been down before, shook it off and came on strong as the fight went forward.
In the fifth round, it was Magdaleno’s turn to taste the canvas for the first time in his career, as he was dropped by a monster right hand and badly hurt. To Magdaleno’s credit, he got up and fought on, even calling Dogboe on repeatedly.
But the hubris wasn’t enough, as Dogboe plugged away with effective body work and hard right hands to the head, keeping Magdaleno cornered or on the ropes far more than Magdaleno wanted. It’s worth noting that Magdaleno hadn’t fought in a year, but anyone would probably have wilted under the pressure Dogboe put on here, as it was truly effective aggression.
Magdaleno got himself steadied as the rounds went on, but was still mostly losing them. In the 11th round, Dogboe dropped him again, and Magdaleno complained that he was hit low. The fight went on, with Dogboe rushing Magdaleno in the corner, unloading shots until Magdaleno went down a third time, forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight.
The two fighters, who talked plenty leading up to the bout, especially Dogboe, embraced after the bout. This was good enough, in my view, for an eventual rematch — maybe not immediately, but I’d love to see these two again, because I think there’s a better, perhaps less rusty Magdaleno who could fight Dogboe and make it an even better fight.
As for Dogboe, it’s obviously a dream come true for the young fighter, and he jumps up into the very top of the ranks at 122 pounds with this win.