Isaac Dogboe didn’t know the stakes or even the final opponent for his next fight.
All that the former titleholder knew was that he was ready to whip somebody’s ass.
“My job description is to fight and destroy whoever is in front of me,” Dogboe told BoxingScene.com. “It didn’t matter if it was Robeisy Ramirez or Brandon Figueroa for an interim title, if it was Emanuel Navarrete for the world title or the fight and stakes we have now.
“The most important thing was we had a date to fight.”
To his point, Dogboe (24-2, 15KOs) was immediately on board when presented with the opportunity to next face Ramirez (11-1, 7KOs). Confirmation of their featherweight clash came with just an interim WBO featherweight title on the line, though with the potential for an upgrade to the real thing.
It didn’t matter back in January when they agreed to the fight, which headlines an ESPN telecast this Saturday from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ghana’s Dogboe—who trains under Barry Hunter in Washington D.C.—was fine with fighting for an interim title if it meant a third bout with Emanuel Navarrete, the only fighter to beat him and who held the WBO featherweight title at the time.
Mexico’s Navarrete has since abandoned his reign, shortly after his ninth-round stoppage of Australia’s Liam Wilson to win the vacant WBO junior lightweight title on February 4 in Glendale, Arizona. The development left Dogboe with the chance to become a two-division titlist, having previously held the WBO junior featherweight belt which he lost to Navarrete in December 2018.
Dogboe won that title in an eleventh-round knockout of unbeaten reigning champ Jessie Magdaleno in April 2018. He earned the opportunity with a fifth-round stoppage of Cesar Juarez in an interim title fight three months earlier and was prepared to travel the same road versus Ramirez, a double Olympic Gold medalist for Cuba who bet365 lists as a -700 betting favorite to prevail this weekend.
“When I was world champion, I had to first win the interim title before I won the main belt,” noted Dogboe, who bet365 currently has a +450 underdog. “It didn’t bother me to have to do that again. Proving myself against the best is all that has ever mattered to me.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox