He had been told that a crowd would be waiting for him at the Kotoka International Airport by the time he landed.
He was aware.
But Isaac Dogboe (19-0-13 KOs) still looked every kind of stupefied when he actually saw the horde on Tuesday night. Joy Sports had exclusive access to the new WBO super bantamweight champion and engaged him in his first official interview since beating Jessie Magdaleno.
Dogboe, whose surprise had clearly not worn off, spoke to Nathaniel Attoh live on the JoyNews TV channel. They spoke on the tarmac, and in the VIP Lounge. The 23-year old only put on his eyewear as he got into the lounge, as a shield from the glare of lights and camera flashes.
Throughout the interview, it was clear the boxer was overwhelmed by the scenes before him. The usually confident young man was, frequently, lost for words.
Question: Isaac, welcome to Ghana! Congratulations to you. How was your flight?
Dogboe: It was great.
Question: It certainly must be an emotional feeling now that you’ve touched down...
Well, like I keep saying, it is God that gives us victory and needs to be glorified. I am happy to be back at this moment and I can’t wait to go home to get some rest. And from there we continue the formalities.
Question: What would you like to say to Ghanaians and the rest of the African continent watching you now?
I want to say a big thank you to the whole nation for their support. I keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of the Lord. At this moment, it was the right time because the people wanted it so badly. I thank God and everyone who was involved in Isaac Royal Storm Dogboe making this possible.
I give glory to the almighty God because it is God that makes everything possible. Like I keep saying, all my battles have not been by my own. It’s always been the Lord and He is the one that should be praised.
I am just like a vessel moving around. Everyone that is here shouldn’t be here because of me but they should be here because they want to give glory to God. God has opened the gates and made things possible. The Ghanaians and the nation wanted it so badly, and God has heard their prayers.
At this moment, we’ve had a very long flight and I can’t really say much. All I can say is I thank God for the victory, my team, everyone and the collective effort that made it possible and, errm...[laughs]...I don't know what to say. It’s a fulfillment. Yeah, it is. I'll just keep it short.
Question: Tell us about the moment when you were knocked down in the first round. What went through your mind at that time?
Actually, nothing was going through my mind because I wasn’t hurt. That was the reason why I got back straight away. It’s part of boxing.
That's the essence of us training so hard so that when you do go down, you get back up. [Magdaleno] threw a shot and it caught me on top of my head. I went off balance and, you know, my legs got up in his legs; he threw a flurry and as a result, I fell down.
I wasn’t hurt. My head was clear.
I just wanted to go back and attack. You have to appreciate [him] for being a great champion. His reign is over, you know? This is a moment for the whole nation to celebrate. It was a great fight. Jessie is a great fighter. You can’t take anything away from him and he is going to come back.
Question: Was it a difficult fight? Apart from the round one [when you were knocked down], would you say it was a difficult fight?
It wasn't a difficult fight for me. All I want to say is a big thank you to my father and the team around me. They always kept me motivated. They always kept me going, and I didn't feel like there was anything that was unexpected. And, I mean, it's all part of it. It's an entertainment business; sometimes you have to go through the bad days in order to see the brighter days. And I just wanna big up my team for the great work that they did.
Question: A lot of people panicked after the announcement was made that your dad (pictured above, right) will not train you anymore, but will hand you over to another person...
Before I answer your question, let me say this. My uncle Ellis Quashigah said something. Before we left [Ghana], we left here as ordinary people. And right now, I think the mood would [have changed] once again if we had returned as ordinary people.
We are here because it's the prayers of the people that kept us going, and [they] motivate us, and they give us that spirit. It's their spirit that's behind us. And at this moment, I cannot wait to go out there and see the people who've been praying for me. I keep saying that, Isaac Dogboe, I'm always blessed. To have the love of many people, both old people, children and everyone, you know, it's a privilege; it's a blessing.
And, what was your question again?
Question: About your dad...
My dad has always been my backbone. If my dad should retire, then I believe I've paid my dues to the nation of Ghana, so I'm going to have to retire as a very young champion.
READ: Should Dogboe accept a rematch or aim for unification?
SEE: Dogboe, the champion who never forgets his manners, his roots, and his God
ANALYSIS: Three things Dogboe did right to KO Magdaleno
CHECK: How Dogboe beat Magdaleno
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