In December 2018 when Ghana’s Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe, then the WBO super bantamweight champion of the world, suffered his first pro career defeat to Emanuel Navarrete, it came as a shock and left Ghanaian fans disenchanted.
The shock may have been occasioned by the virtual ‘no show’ by the warrior from the Volta Region of Ghana who was dominated and punished round after round.
It was clear something was wrong but was difficult to put a finger on anything. The all action, all punching, all conquering Dogboe was to be conquered.
But, interestingly, while Dogboe fans watched and hoped the tide will change, those working behind the scenes with Dogboe were all too sure nothing good was coming out of that fight.
Actually, they were waiting for when the boxer will beckon them to throw the towel.
In Dogboe’s own words, Navarrete had him at the right time; a period which marked his worst preparation further dented by regular breaks in camping schedules.
“My preparation was poor. We had to travel up and down, in the process breaking camp several times. Stamina-wise, I wasn’t there. I struggled with injuries and weight as well, forcing us to use solar Jacuzzis which took a significant toll on me.”
But in the absence of these negative factors, Dogboe has vowed to visit fire and brimstone on Navarrete in the rematch slated for Arizona tonight.
Five months after that downfall, Dogboe is ready to roar again, take Arizona by storm and go face to face with another warrior from Mexico in what the Ghanaian described as his moment of redemption.
“I know a lot of the fans are a bit skeptical about this but I want to assure them there is nothing to be scared about. I’ll create the storm to consume Navarrete within four rounds,” Dogboe told the Times Sports on Thursday.
Dogboe’s assurances notwithstanding, Navarrete remains a formidable opponent with a single defeat in 26 fights. Once again, his reach will be a conundrum Dogboe will have to negotiate a way past.
However, Dogboe’s confidence ahead of the showdown can also not be downplayed.
Just as it happened against Jesse Magdaleno when he was tagged a huge underdog, he emerged from the blocks as one of the best and entertaining champions in the division.
With the odds stuck against him, it offers Dogboe another advantage to jump to the very top of the spot again with a tantalising display to prove to the world his excuses were no fluke.
BY ANDREW NORTEY