Isaac Dogboe is confident that he can one day prove to be the best fighter in an ever-changing featherweight division.
For now, his only goal is to be better than Robeisy Ramirez.
“Every fight in my career, I have always taken it one step at a time,” Dogboe told BoxingScene.com. “I know there are a lot of new faces at the weight. I haven’t really kept up on all the changes because I am only focused on one goal and that is to beat Robeisy Ramirez.
“I don’t need to be the best featherweight in the world right now. I just need to be the best man in the ring when I face Robeisy Ramirez on Saturday night.”
Dogboe (24-2, 15KOs) and Ramirez (11-1, 7KOs) will collide for the vacant WBO featherweight title in their ESPN+ headliner this Saturday from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The winner will give the division a clean sweep of new titleholders all within the past nine months. In fact, this weekend will mark the seventh time a new major titlist has been crowned at featherweight since the start of 2022.
Emanuel Navarrete (37-1, 31KOs) never even established himself in that role during his two-plus year stay as WBO featherweight titlist before vacating the belt earlier this year. Gary Russell was the longest reigning current male titleholder during his WBC title run. His seven-year reign came to an end with a January 2022 defeat to Mark Magsayo (26-2, 20KOs), who in turn lost the belt to current titleholder Rey Vargas.
The main WBA featherweight belt was relinquished by Leo Santa Cruz (38-2-1, 19KOs) last December. It left Leigh Wood (26-3, 16KOs) as the recognized titlist though Mauricio Lara (26-2-1, 19KOs) ended his reign with a come-from-behind seventh-round knockout on February 18 in Nottingham, England.
Josh Warrington (31-2-1, 8KOs) regained the IBF featherweight title with a stoppage win over Kiko Martinez last March 26. His second title reign was one-and-done after he suffered a narrow defeat to Luis Alberto Lopez (27-2, 15KOs) last December 11 in his Leeds hometown.
Simply put, the division is wide open and in desperate need of a true leader.
Dogboe and Ramirez will have as much of a claim as anyone else in the division with a title.
Ramirez is a heavy favorite to win this weekend, which is the first major title fight for the Cuban southpaw who won Gold medals in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics. Dogboe enters the bout as a former WBO junior featherweight titlist, who has won four in a row at featherweight as he aims to become a two-division titlist.
Only after he accomplishes that goal, the 28-year-old Ghana native then plans to set his sights on the best of the rest.
“There’s always work to be done,” noted Dogboe, whose entertaining title stay at junior featherweight ended with back-to-back defeats to Navarrete before moving up in weight. “I want to fight all the best to prove that I am the best. I don’t want just one win and then make that claim.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox