By Jake Donovan
Isaac Dogboe was hell-bent on proving his title-losing effort to Emanuel Navarrete five months ago was nothing more than a fluke.
The second time around not only disproved that claim but proved to be an even more lopsided affair.
Navarrete had little difficulty in registering the first defense of his super bantamweight title, scoring a one-sided 12th round stoppage over the man from whom he claimed it in a repeat win Saturday evening at Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Ariz.
Dogboe was down twice in the contest, including a right hand shot which ended the fight at 2:02 of the 12th and final round.
Navarrete (27-1, 22KOs) sought to pick up exactly where he left off in his title-winning decision win five months ago, using every bit of his massive height and reach advantages in launching power shots from long range. Dogboe knew to anticipate the tactic, fighting behind a high guard and shooting counter right hands although he was significantly outworked in the round.
It would only get much, much worse for the former 122-pound titlist.
Dogboe (20-2, 14KOs) was badly rocked in rounds two and three, the brunt of the damage produced by Navarrete’s long right hands. The difference in activity was far more evident as Dogboe’s efforts to deflect the incoming disappeared the moment he was forced to retreat.
Navarrete was also doing damage with his left hook, landing often enough to where Dogboe’s right eye was rapidly swelling shut. The squat Ghanian boxer was able to readjust in round four, occasionally working his way inside and landing right hands but not staying at close range long enough to force the defending titlist on the defensive.
Dogboe enjoyed a bounce back of sorts in round five, effectively getting off his punches at close range and immediately getting out of harm’s way before Navarrete had a chance to adjust and respond. It wasn’t by any means a momentum shift, however, as the very next round would show.
A series of power shots had Dogboe staggering abound the ring in round six, falling into the ropes in a sequence that was correctly ruled a knockdown. Navarrete couldn’t put him away in the 50 or seconds left in the round but was dominant to the tune of outlanding Dogboe 34 to 12 in the frame and only increasing his lead.
The second half of the fight offered a similar pattern, Dogboe briefly stalling Navarrete’s onslaught but otherwise fighting on pure will as he was getting picked apart from the outside. Navarrete slowed just enough to where he was merely outworking his foe and not necessarily inflicting damage but It was enough to secure his lead.
He did a lot more than that in a brutal round nine which ended with Dogboe’s father and trainer, Paul Dogboe insisting that he was going to pull the plug on the fight. The words never evolved beyond threat, although it was puzzling as to why he would allow his son to take additional punishment in the final three rounds.
The bitter end came in the 12th and final round. A right hand shot put Dogboe down for the second time in the fight. He beat the count, but was in no condition to continue, with his father alerting the referee to stop the contest.
It proved right on time for Navarrete, who injured his right hand upon landing the knockout blow, although he didn’t need to throw it again.
“I came in with a right thumb injury,” admitted Navarrete, whose lone career loss came in his 6th pro fight at just 17 years old. “I fought through it and hurt it on several occasions. You saw me shake it at the end, but I got the victory which is what matters most.”
As for Dogboe, what matters most to him is adding four more pounds for his next fight.
“Right now, I’d like to let everyone be aware that the super bantamweight division is very challenging for me to make weight,” Dogboe revealed after his second straight loss, echoing a sentiment he shared with BoxingScene.com earlier in the week. “My next fight will be at featherweight, I believe I will be much stronger at that weight. It’s a struggle to make 122.”
Such is not at all the case for the 5’7” Navarrete, who doesn’t plan to go anywhere any time soon. In fact, he welcomes all comers to step to him.
“I don’t need to go looking for anyone,” Navarrete said after the win when asked of next steps. “The real men in this division know where they can find me. You want my belt? Come and get it.”
The bout aired as the opening leg of an ESPN doubleheader featuring title fight rematches. Topping the bill, Miguel Berchelt (35-1, 31KOs) attempts the fifth defense of his 130-pound belt versus Francisco Vargas, whom he dethroned in Jan. 2017.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox