Isaac Dogboe has become Ghana's youngest ever boxing champion after knocking out Jessie Magdaleno in Philadelphia on Sunday morning, making him the new WBO super bantamweight/junior featherweight titleholder.
In a fight that sashayed, both boxers were unafraid of giving punches. The Ghanaian won by TKO in eleven rounds.
The 23-year-old did it remarkably, considering he was knocked down in the first round after walking into a well-timed left hook. But he recovered well, and his heart, honed from 11 straight victories, shone through.
Despite all the pre-bout hype which seemed to suggest that this would be an emotional fight for the Mexican, it was Dogboe who was in control for large portions.
A decisive moment came in round five when Dogboe's dominance was rewarded. Magdaleno, under fire from the Ghanaian, went down. Though he got up, that round could not have ended any quicker for him, as he wobbled for the duration of the seconds left.
Magdaleno came into this contest also undefeated, and just like Dogboe, showed a lot of character after being floored.
He gave a fair account of himself from round seven, as Dogboe sought to still exploit the shocking spaces in the 26-year old's guard.
Round seven. Eight. Nine. The bout went this way and that, but by this time, the Ghanaian's earlier knockdown was a distant memory. He was in control of the score now.
By the end of the tenth, it was clear to Magdaleno's corner that he needed to throw in the kitchen sink. "Jessie, you have to punch better. You need to finish him to win," came the instruction before it resumed.
However, Dogboe was in no mood for a comeback.
The eleventh was decisive. From the moment the bell was tolled, the Olympian went for the kill, and soon, Magdaleno was kissing the canvas. Not once, but twice. On the second knockdown of that round for the Mexican, the ref did not allow him to get back.
It was done.
Dogboe was ahead on all three official scorecards at the time of the stoppage: 97-91, 96-91 and 95-93. According to CompuBox statistics, Dogboe landed 172 of 530 punches (33 percent), and Magdaleno landed 104 of 383 (27 percent).
Ghana, after years of waiting, has a new world boxing champion.
Azumah Nelson said two years ago that by 2020, Ghana would see its flag around the body of a new champion. His prophecy was short by two years, but who cares?
ROUND BY ROUND updates by Gary Al-Smith (All scores by Joy Sports, not official)
Round one – And Dogboe is down! The Ghanaian is knocked down by a vicious combo by the Mexican. It's the Ghanaian's first ever career knockdown. Magdaleno was taking a flurry from Dogboe, he waited it out and launched a well-timed three punch combination that sent Dogboe down.
But he gets up after the count. Our score: Magdaleno 10-8 Dogboe
Round Two: Stats show that Jessie has already landed 18 power punches. This second round sees both fighters checking each other out, and being cautious. But Dogboe suddenly burst into life and launched a series of power punches. Positive stuff from the Ghanaian, as he lands a wide-sweeping right hand. Dogboe seems to have a small swelling but he isn't bothered.
Round two over. Good stuff from both, especially Dogboe. Reminder that Dogboe went down in the first round after walking into a hook from Magdaleno. Our score: Magdaleno 9-10 Dogboe
Round Three – begins. Yet another fesity round, with both boxers not afraid to punch. A real give-and-take affair. The officials will find it tough to call these first four rounds so far. But we suspect the first over will definitely go to. Our score: Magdaleno 9-10 Dogboe
Round Four – Nothing major, just another slugfest. Our score: Magdaleno 9-10 Dogboe
And Magdaleno is on the ropes! But the Mexican quickly clears his head and gets into the center of the ring. Now, it's back to give and take. Dogboe is NOT fighting like a challenger. He's fighting like the champion. Round five ends, and definitely the mental side of the fight goes to the man from Anyako. Brilliant. Our score: Magdaleno 8-10 Dogboe
During the break, Magdaleno's corner was consistently asking him to NOT open up, something he's been guilty off. He's also been a bit jaded from the Ghanaian's blows in round 5. But we gotta give both fighters credit – they do have heart.
Round Six – Isaac Dogboe continues from where he left off, as Magdaleno looks shaky. Dogboe is simply delivering body shots, and mentally the Ghanaian is on the up. Last two rounds definitely for Dogboe, as he takes jabs and pot shots at the reigning champion. Magdaleno must stop being on the ropes if he wants points to go his way. Round 6 ends, we call it for Dogboe. Magdaleno 9-10 Dogboe. Overall score for us Dogboe winning this 58-54 so far. Come on Dogboe!
Don't take your eyes off this fight, as both fighters have gone down for the first time in their careers. In Jessie's case, he's been knocked down for the first time, whether pro or amateur.
Round Seven – Dogboe begins strongly and the Mexican is not doing much by way of responding. In fact, Isaac is using his host as target practice; a series of one-two-three jabs that are not being responded to. In the final 20 seconds, Magdaleno probably notices that this round is also getting away from him, so he becomes aggressive. But Dogboe just sizes him up and takes it in, and keeps the bout in the ring center. Ref calls an end to this round. Our score: Magdaleno 9-10 Dogboe (Overall: 68-63)
Ghanaian contingent in this 10,200 seater shout their lungs out to help Dogboe. Chants of "Ghana, Ghana, oseeeey yieeee…."
Round Eight – Good left from Jessie. Dogboe stalking though. Good bodywork, another right to the head from Dogboe. Magdaleno ties him up to get off the ropes. Jessie on the ropes again, again he ties up. At least he’s tying up now. Magdaleno moving and working better this round. He’s landing a little more. Right hand from Dogboe chops in as Jessie comes forward. Magdaleno with a little left. Right hand from Dogboe again. Magdaleno was better this round, but I still think Isaac had the better shots landed. Magdaleno 9-10 Dogboe
Round Nine – Magdaleno still moving better, like last round. It’s keeping him in the argument now, at least. And he’s tying up more instead of letting Dogboe unload. And staying off the ropes. This is more Jessie’s style, giving him more opportunities. Wide left hand from Magdaleno misses. But he’s controlling the tempo at this moment. Dogboe looking for one right hand. Magdaleno not giving him the opening anymore. So there are some good adjustments here, and if judges have it closer than I do, it might be huge. Dogboe not throwing near as much this round. Uneventful round, which favors Jessie. Magdaleno 10-9, Dogboe. Overall: 87-82
Isaac Dogboe knocks Jessie Magdaleno down and Ghana has a new boxing world champion!