by Cliff Rold
In a division that has produced enduring classics like Wilfredo Gomez-Lupe Pintor, Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales, and the first three Vazquez-Marquez wars, the standard for excellence is high.
Very few fights can get there.
It’s enough to be the latest excellent battle in one of boxing’s premiere warrior classes. No one can say they didn’t see warriors on Saturday night. Isaac Dogboe and Jessie Magdaleno traded knockdowns, momentum, and ultimately a title before the night was through. The judges were on their game too; while this scribe picked Magdaleno on a possibly contentious decision, all three official scorers had Dogboe ahead prior to the fateful eleventh.
Two of them had Dogboe comfortably ahead.
Jr. featherweight was due for the next fight that could light a flame under it. Whether it’s a rematch between Dogboe and Magdaleno, or Dogboe against anyone else, 122 lbs. has its latest must-see-TV.
It was due.
Let’s get into it.
The Future for Dogboe: Two fights in a row, Ghana’s Dogboe (19-0, 13 KO) has left boxing fans with one of the sport’s most precious commodities: he left them wanting more. His battle with Cesar Juarez got some buzz going earlier this year. This fight was another elevation for the 23-year old. Perhaps the best thing that could have happened to him was the first round knockdown scored by Magdaleno. It may have helped Dogboe to transition from logical nerves in his first title fight to heightened awareness. Fighters can panic in that situation, especially when genuinely buzzed (and Dogboe was). He didn’t panic. The Olympian settled down, stayed the course, and steadily broke through Magdaleno’s guard. By the time he scored a fifth round knockdown, Dogboe had fully shaken off the knockdown and the way he eroded Magdaleno to the body should worry any future foe. Dogboe knows how to make it count to the ribs and he’s accurate. A little shorter than most Jr. featherweights, but with long arms, he can land at some interesting angles when he comes up from the flanks. Given his age, the future looks full of promise as Dogboe begins to defend he newly earned WBO belt. If the immediate future is a rematch, and it could be, we get another good fight. Whoever he faces next, let’s hope he becomes a regular US television presence.
The Future for Magdaleno: Magadaleno missed a year in the ring but there didn’t appear to be any rust when he got off to a strong start. Rust wasn’t really the problem he had with Dogboe as the fight wore on either. Magdaleno was effective boxing Dogboe at range but he simply couldn’t keep the Ghanaian off him. A rematch would demand answers for the body attack and a way to stay off the ropes. Magdaleno took beatings off the strands and attempts to tough it out, or get in Dogboe’s head with macho rash talk, didn’t do anything but get his ribs more bashed up. At 26, Magdaleno has plenty of time on his side. He’ll want a rematch but wise management might want to get him an interim fight or two to get his legs and confidence back under him. That body assault he endured will stick with him for a bit. Letting him shake the shadows of his first defeat loose won’t hurt him in the long run and no one can hold against him an effort where he gave his all and just wasn’t the better man this time.
Rold Picks 2018: 13-6 (Including Jacobs-Sulecki, Taylor-Bustos)
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]