by Cliff Rold
Take a pair of undefeated, talented young men who are still under the big money radar, put them in a high profile main event for a title, then get out of the way.
Sometimes, the formula is just that simple.
Will it be that simple on Saturday night? ESPN (7 PM EST) appears to have the best main event of three high profile US shows on Saturday. No one ever knows if on paper will work on canvas until it happens.
The ingredients are there.
Let’s get into it.
Stats and Stakes
Title: WBO super bantamweight (2016-present, 1 defense)
Previous Titles: None
Weight: 122 lbs.
Hails from: Las Vegas, Nevada
Record: 25-0, 18 KO?
Press Rankings: #1 (TBRB, Boxing Monthly), #2 (Ring), #3 (ESPN)
Record in Major Title Fights: 2-0, 1 KO
Last Five Opponents: 111-26-2 (.806)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced: Nonito Donaire UD12
Titles/Previous Titles: None
Weight: 121 ¼ lbs.
Hails from: Accra, Ghana
Record: 18-0, 12 KO
Press Rankings: #5 (Boxing Monthly), #6 (ESPN, BoxRec), #7 (Ring), #9 (TBRB)
Record in Major Title Fights: 1stTitle Opportunity
Last Five Opponents: 100-15-1 (.866)
Current/Former World Champions Faced: None
The Case for Magdaleno: Magadaleno is the slightly taller man and may be a little quicker. The southpaw tends to throw the straighter shots and his jab is efficient. He has shown good, if not great, power but has only been tested marginally above the fringe level. When he was, the results were positive. Magdaleno can take a good shot. While the Donaire he beat for his title might have been getting past his best, he still had plenty of power. The younger man handled it well. Now we’ll see how he handles another man in the flush of youth as hungry to the spoils of success as he is. A question mark for Magdaleno is rust. Will he have any? This is his first time in the ring in a year against an opponent who has been in the ring twice since.
The Case for Dogboe: Dogboe has a good jab though sometimes he can paw with it, a dicey proposition against a natural counter puncher like Magdaleno. Both men can fight off the back foot but Dogboe seems more comfortable pressing the action. He has a nice straight right to the body and good head movement. Short for the weight class, but with long arms, Dogboe can be a tricky target. Dogboe will have to be careful not to wing shots as he sometimes comes wide from outside, leaving himself open down the middle. When caught, fans can like that Dogboe fights back. His battle with Cesar Juarez earlier this year is all the evidence needed for that. If he can make Magdaleno miss, there will be chances to counter the champion’s counters and score points. If Dogboe can win over the Philly crowd in exchanges, it could come in handy in a fight sure to have some close rounds.
The Pick: This could be the most interesting fight between a Mexican American and a Ghanaian since Ike Quartey did battle with Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas. There isn’t much edge in experience for either man at the professional level. Magdaleno has beaten the best opponent, but it’s still just one opponent. Dogboe has heavy hands and proven determination. He goes to the body well and applies steady pressure. Magdaleno’s jab is more consistent jab and his counter punching approach should work against Dogboe who will have to make the fight. This feels like it could have some controversy at the end. Whether it does or not, the pick is Magdaleno in a very competitive affair.
Middleweight: Daniel Jacobs Dec. Maciej Sulecki
Womens lightweight unification: Katie Taylor Dec. Victoria Bustos
Rold Picks 2018: 11-5
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]