Isaac Dogboe rallied from a first-round knockdown to drop Jessie Magdaleno three times in an 11th-round knockout victory to win a WBO junior featherweight/super bantamweight world title in Philadelphia on Sunday morning.
Before the bout, the Joy Sports team had jotted three tactical ways in which the Ghanaian could finish off his unbeaten colleague. He did just that.
So, how was the fight won?
Jittery start, good recovery
A combination of the right technique, mentality and sheer will won this for Dogboe. His start was a bit jittery, perhaps overwhelmed by the occasion or an over-confidence stemming from what happened when he sparred with Magdaleno in 2014.
And so, bang in the middle of the first round, Dogboe was floored..
That knock-down, the first in his career, was the perfect wake up call; and once he recovered from that he did almost everything right.
Magdaleno is known to rattle opponents in the early rounds, and if they fail this psychological test it becomes a weapon he uses throughout the remainder of fights. Recovering, and sticking to his original game plan was a mental test Dogboe passed with distinction.
The Mexican’s orthodox stance meant that Isaac had to circle to his left on the outside of his jab to neutralise Jessie’s much-talked-about, powerful left hand. It also meant that he remained in the firing line of Dogboe’s right hand, which the 23-year-old lad from the Volta Region made sure to use copiously.
Give and take
Every punch Magdaleno gave got an equal and brutal response.
This was key as it forced Magdaleno to stop punching and take cover. The Mexican’s lack of controlled aggression, as we hoped he would in our preview, was a weakness Dogboe exploited so well.
Jessie’s attacks, which were often not properly grounded, left him open to counter attacks. These were spotted by the Ghanaian very quickly and taken with skill and dexterity. The stats showed that Dogboe landed 172 of 530 punches (33 percent), meaning he has more work to do against a more disciplined opponent. But for the day’s work, he was good value.
Because of Magdaleno’s aggressive mindset, Dogboe needed to be patient, and he needed timing to just right.
The right hand that sent Magdaleno down – the first in his career, pro or amateur – in the fifth round was devastating. The Mexican reeled from the hefty blow and it was obvious he was hurt. But instead of rushing in to kill him off, Dogboe chose to pick his prey apart piece by piece through the rounds.
It requires enormous skill and strength to ‘walk down’ an opponent in boxing, but if you’re fit and well-conditioned it’s a great tool to have. Dogboe did it so effectively that his counterpart had become mentally exhausted by the eighth round.
In fact, the fight could have ended before the eleventh but Dogboe dished out body shots any time he backed his opponent into a corner and wasn’t in a hurry to finish. This game plan was a stroke of genius because, in a twisted way, it prepared Magdaleno for his eventual capitulation in the 11th.
By the time the fight was stopped Jessie Magdaleno had nothing left in his tank. Dogboe didn’t only win the physical battle, he broke his opponent mentally.
The Ghanaian, still undefeated, will now hone his craft some more and face the next target as his nation’s eighth major world boxing champion.