A wise man once said “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up.” For a young man who not only had dreams of being a world champion but also carried the hopes of a nation desperate for a world champion, this bout was not only going to be a physical one but mental as well. Facing an opponent who was brimming with confidence after one previous title defense against a respected legend of the division, with the added advantage of fighting in front of his home crowd, Dogboe had to be up for this test.
After all Dogboe’s last two fights had been in front of his home crowd, and he had become used to the crowd advantage. This was a different atmosphere, more inclined towards his opponent, and considerably bigger in terms of capacity than what he had previously enjoyed at home. It was a 10,000 seater arena in far away Philadelphia full of people who were eager to see him beaten. He was a few moments away from history, at the biggest stage of his career and had to control his nerves if he was to come out tops.
The worst possible start
Dogboe looked overwhelmed by the occasion from the set. He was wobbly and his movement was suspect. His mind had begun playing tricks with him. The unthinkable was just seconds away from happening. A quick combination and then BOOM! Dogboe was down! Dogboe was down for the first time in his career! He was down at the biggest stage of his career. In the first round in hostile territory. But, Royal Storm wasn’t going out. At least not now. Not when millions of Ghanaians were back home sacrificing their sleep hoping to see him win. He wasn’t going going to quit now. Not when his hero and idol Azumah Nelson, had put so much belief in him. And most importantly, not when daddy had been screaming for him to get up.
For many boxers, knocking down your opponent in round one is a huge advantage, but unfortunately for Jessie Magdaleno, he had just angered a beast. Dogboe slowly begun to grow into the bout. He was landing more consistent blows, and the paralyzing body shots began to land. It was soon time to return the favour, when a vicious combination shot caught his American opponent who went tumbling down. Dogboe had really awoken. He was beginning to look like the champion and not the challenger. Magdaleno was beginning to retreat in fear, refusing to open up. He knew he was no longer fighting a mere human; Dogboe had become a demigod.
Round 6, 7 and 8 passed and Dogboe was clearly in control. He was composed and swiftly moving around like a pinball. Magdaleno was struggling to keep up.
The moment of truth
You could hear chants of Dogboe! Dogboe!as the Ghanaian cornered his opponent late in round 10, crushing Magdaleno with devastating body shots, before the bell came to his rescue.
Dogboe could sense victory. His corner could taste it. He was about to finish Magdaleno off in Round 11. Ring Ring! The bell went for the start of the 11th round and Dogboe went in for his man like a missile. Right hook, left hook, and Magdaleno was down for the second time in the bout! The American struggled back to his feet, and the referee resumed the bout. Dogboe was like a shark who could smell fresh blood. He went in again. Right-left combination to the body of the American who dropped his guard, and then BAM! A precise left hook into the side of Magdaleno’s head. The champion was down and out.
Dogboe dropped to his knees, with his head down and shoulders sunken. He had done it. At 23, he had just become Ghana’s youngest ever world champion, also ending the nations six year wait for a world champion. He took a few moments to let the feeling sink in before he ran into the arms of his father and trainer Paul. Soon he was swamped by his whole team. Against all odds, and after the worst possible starts, Dogboe dethroned the champion Magdaleno behind enemy lines.
WAKE UP! It’s not a dream. ISAAC DOGBOE IS THE WORLD CHAMPION!
By: Daniel Koranteng/citinewsroom.com/Ghana