The stakes have been raised for a crossroads bout between Joet Gonzalez and Isaac Dogboe.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the already planned ten-round featherweight bout will now headline a July 23 Top Rank show on ESPN+ from Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota. The upgrade from co-feature came upon the decision to relocate its originally scheduled main event between former titlists Jose Pedraza and Richard Commey to an August 27 show on an ESPN platform.
Dogboe himself wound up announcing the news, confirming a previous breaking news report from Fight Freaks Unite’s Dan Rafael.
“God is great”, tweeted the former WBO junior featherweight titlist. “I got good news today from Carl Moretti (Director of Operations for Top Rank) that I’ve been elevated to Main Event for July 23rd fight. Let’s gooooooo! NEHOOO!!!”
Gonzalez (25-2, 15KOs) enters on the heels of a ninth-round stoppage of Jeo Santisima this past March 4 in Fresno, California. The win followed his second bid at a major title coming up short in a twelve-round, unanimous decision in favor of WBO featherweight titlist Emanuel Navarrete (35-1, 29KOs) last October in San Diego.
The fight with Navarrete was more entertaining and competitive than Gonzalez’s previous run at the WBO featherweight title, dropping a lopsided decision to Shakur Stevenson in October 2019. Gonzalez was 23-0 entering the grudge match, having since suffered his lone two defeats within his last four fights but entering the fight with Dogboe on a high note.
Ghana’s Dogboe (23-2, 15KOs) will fight for the first time in 2022, though the eight-month delay is not by design.
The former WBO junior featherweight titlist was due to return to the ring this past May 21 as part of the Tevin Farmer-Mickey Bey independent pay-view-show originally scheduled to take place in Dogboe’s hometown of Accra, Ghana. Dogboe—who is trained by Barry Hunter—was pulled from the show once it relocated to Dubai, though the event was canceled outright.
The fight with Gonzalez comes as Dogboe is riding a three-fight win streak, all since moving up to featherweight following back-to-back title fight losses to Navarrete. Dogboe lost a 12-round decision to Navarrete in December 2018 in New York City and was stopped in the 12th round of their May 2019 rematch in Tucson, Arizona. In his last fight, Dogboe outpointed former title challenger Christopher Diaz over ten rounds last November 20.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox