ESPN Boxing Preview: Navarrete vs. Dogboe, Berchelt vs. Vargas
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Tuscon Arena in Tuscon, Arizona will be the host site for Top Rank Promotions Card on ESPN entitled “Twice as Nice”.
The main event of the card will feature a WBC Junior Lightweight Title rematch between Miguel Berchelt and Francisco Vargas for Berchelt’s title. The co-main event of the evening will be another rematch between Emanuel Navarrete and Isaac Dogboe for Navarrete’s WBO Junior Featherweight title.
The undercard will feature several prospects, such as Mykal Fox, Carlos Castro, Miguel parra, and Miguel Marriaga. The undercard will be streamed on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Emanuel Navarrete (26-1) vs. Isaac Dogboe (20-1); WBO Junior Featherweight Title
Navarrete has spent almost his entire career fighting in Mexico, but his first fight in the United States was a big one against Isaac Dogboe, the then WBO Junior Featherweight Champion, and he shocked many by pulling off the upset.
They’ll rematch each other on Saturday night and Navarrete has a lot of inherent advantages. Both boxers are young and only twenty four years old. Navarrete has a significant edge in height as he is five inches taller than Dogboe. He also has a significant edge in reach as he has an eight inch reach advantage over him.
Navarrete also has the edge in power, as he has stopped twenty two of his opponents while Dogboe has only stopped fourteen. Both boxers have been fairly active, with Navarrete being the more active boxer. Navarrete fought four times in 2018 and five times in 2017 while Dogboe four four times in 2018 but only once in 2017.
Prior to beating Dogboe, Navarrete did not have an impressive resume of defeated opponents. He has beaten the likes of Jose Sanmartin, Glenn Porras, and Isaac Dogboe. His lone loss was in 2012 to Daniel Argueta.
Dogboe’s only loss in his career was to Navarrete. He has defeated the likes of Hidenori Otake, Jessie Magdaleno, Cesar Juarez, Javier Chacon, and Julian Aristule.
Navarrete had a pretty dominating performance against Dogboe, and his size and reach will be difficult for Dogboe to navigate and avoid. This bout will go a long way in determining if Navarrete is the real deal or not, but it appears likely he’ll walk away with another win.
Miguel Berchelt (35-1) vs. Francisco Vargas (25-1-2); WBC Junior Lightweight Title
Even though this bout is a highly anticipated rematch, Berchelt is still in his athletic prime at 37 years old and Vargas is now 34 years old. Based on age along it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Berchelt win convincingly.
Vargas will have about a one inch height advantage over Berchelt while Berchelt will have about an one inch reach advantage. Berchelt has the edge in power, as he has thirty one stoppage victories on his resume while Vargas only has eighteen.
Vargas’ lone loss was a knockout loss to Berchelt. He also drew with Orlando Salido. He has beaten the likes of Rod Salka, Stephen Smith, Takashi Miura, Will Tomlinson, Juan Manuel Lopez, Abner Cotto, and Jerry Belmontes.
Vargas also has an impressive amateur background that includes a trip to the 2008 Summer Olympics for Mexico.
Berchelt has defeated the likes of Miguel Roman, Jonathan Victor Barros, Maxwell Awuku, Takashi Miura, Sergio Puente, and Francisco Vargas. His lone loss was to Luis Eduardo Florez in 2014.
Berchelt never competed in the Olympics but he was a three time Mexican National Boxing Champion as an amateur.
Vargas fought once in 2018 and twice in 2017. He has only fought two times since he lost to Berchelt. Berchelt fought three times in 2018 and twice in 2017.
This writer sees this bout going in Berchelt’s favor and possibly by stoppage.
Dogboe-Navarrete 12/8 Title Fight Reclassified As Mandatory Defense By WBO
By Jake Donovan
Isaac Dogboe’s upcoming 122-pound title defense versus Emanuel Navarrete was secured and announced long ago, but the pairing has suddenly taking on a new dynamic.
The December 8 clash serves as the chief support to the lightweight title unification bout between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jose Pedraza, with both fights airing live on ESPN from MSG’s Hulu Theatre in New York City.
Photo Credit: Isaac Dogboe Twitter Account
What was believed to be an optional defense for Dogboe, however, has now been classified as a mandatory title fight which—with a win—will open up his 2019 schedule.
The ruling came about during the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) annual convention this week, recognizing Navarrete (25-1, 22KOs) as the leading available contender for Dogboe’s title. The 23-year old from Mexico City is ranked number two by the organization, right behind countryman and unbeaten contender Diego de la Hoya.
However, de la Hoya (21-0, 10KOs) and his team—which includes his first cousin and promoter, Hall of Fame former six-division titlist Oscar de la Hoya—decided a bit more grooming was required before chasing a title. The 24-year old from Mexicali, Mexico will instead fight in his hometown for the first time in his career—along with his first pro fight in Mexico in general—in a November 17 showcase headliner versus Venezuela’s Edixon Perez.
The decision came with the understanding that the winner of Dogboe-Navarrete will not be obligated to make a mandatory title defense until September 2019, a decision that came with de la Hoya’s blessing.
Should Dogboe prevail on December 8, it gives him plenty of room for an active 2019 campaign that could very well include a homecoming title defense in his native Ghana.
Such plans were part of his agreeing to a long-term co-promotional pact with Top Rank, under whose umbrella the unbeaten 24-year has fought since winning the title over Jessie Magdaleno earlier this year. The upcoming title defense versus Navarrette will already mark his fourth fight of 2018, all carrying title fight implications.
Dogboe (20-0, 14KOs) burst onto the scene in the first significant fight of 2018, stopping Cesar Juarez in the the 5th round of their interim title fight this past January in Accra, Ghana. It marked his 10th appearance in his home country, but also the last for the time being with his upcoming bout with Navarrete marking his third straight in the United States.
The win over Magdaleno—with both boxers hitting the canvas before Dogboe prevailed in the 11th round of their ESPN-televised thriller—marked his arrival as a major player in the 122-pound division, rising from adversity to bump off a previously unbeaten titlist. The feat came with the understanding that he’d inherit a mandatory challenger in Hidenori Otake.
Dogboe gladly obliged, destroying Japan’s Otake inside of one round this past August, also on ESPN where he has become a network favorite.
He’s also quickly become a favorite of Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, who remains eager to expand the boxer’s horizons.
“We are looking forward to exploring the opportunity for Isaac Dogboe to defend his world championship in 2019 in Ghana,” Arum noted upon extending their agreement in October. “Together with (father/trainer) Paul Dogboe and Mike Altamura (Dogboe’s co-manager) we will afford Isaac opportunities to win championships in multiple weight divisions.”
Providing he continues his winning ways in December, the sky’s the limit—at least for the next nine months, thereafter.
Isaac Dogboe-Emmanuel Navarrete Confirmed For December 8 in NYC
By Jake Donovan
Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe will cap his breakout 2018 campaign in grand style, defending his super bantamweight title in New York City.
The unbeaten 122-pound titlist from Ghana will make the second defense of his crown versus Mexico’s Emmanuel Navarrete on December 8 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre. The bout will air live on ESPN in chief support to the lightweight title unification clash between pound-for-pound entrant Vasyl Lomachenko and Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza.
“Put me among the best, and you’ll see the best of ‘Royal Storm’,” Dogboe (20-0, 14KOs) said of his upcoming bout, his fourth in a Fight of the Year-level 2018 campaign. “We love the New York crowd. That’s what will motivate us and make us fight harder. Madison Square Garden is a legendary place. It’s a place where many fighters were made.”
For Dogboe, the journey to cult favorite actually began at home this past January. The charismatic 24-year old became an instant hit on the strength of his 5th round stoppage of Cesar Juarez in Accra, Ghana. The interim title fight came on the first weekend of 2018, officially kicking off the boxing season and positioning Dogboe for a shot at a real title.
That moment came less than four months later, with Dogboe overcoming an early knockdown to drop and stop previously unbeaten Jessie Magdaleno in the 11th round of their thriller to win the 122-pound title this past April. The bout aired live on ESPN, as did his first title defense—a crushing 1st round knockout of Japan’s Hidenori Otake this past August.
Through a co-promotional arrangement with Top Rank, Dogboe continues to enjoy increased exposure on the all-sports network where he has quickly emerged as a series favorite.
His rise to fame is in stark contrast to that of his opponent.
Navarrete (25-1, 22KOs) comes in with little profile, having fought exclusively in Mexico and whose bouts have only been seen by US audiences through showcase appearances on beInSport Español.
Still, the 23-year old challenger is riding a wave of confidence ahead of his first career title fight. He enters on the heels of a 20-fight win streak dating back to 2012 and has scored stoppage wins in each of his last eight starts.
While his level of opposition is inferior to that of the defending titlist, Navarrete—like Dogboe—has enjoyed an active 2018 campaign. The forthcoming clash will mark his 5th ring appearance of the year—and the one that he promises will produce a major shakeup.
“This is the opportunity I was waiting for,” Navarrete insists. “I have a lot of respect for Isaac Dogboe, but this title will be mine. I feel very happy and motivated by this opportunity, even more, because of fighting in New York City.
“I know that from Dec. 8 forward, the name Emanuel Navarrete will be known all around the world. I’m sure this win will be mine.”
Not only will Dogboe do his best to disprove that claim, but also make sure his own performance is the one that the crowd best remembers by night’s end.
“Lomachenko and Pedraza are great fighters and being featured on a show with other great fighters is an honor,” Dogboe notes. “We are ready to roll. And to my fans, trust me, the ‘Royal Storm’ is coming to entertain!”
Isaac Dogboe, Top Rank Agree To Long-Term Promotional Deal
By Jake Donovan
Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe has enjoyed a brilliant breakout campaign in 2018, not just because of the in-ring results but also because his flawless ability to captivate the audience.
His extremely marketable combination of talent and charisma has clearly left its mark on the staff at Top Rank, who has presented each of his last two starts and is now on board for the long haul.
Photo Credit: Isaac Dogboe Twitter Account
The unbeaten 122-pound titlist took to social media to reveal his having signed long-term co-promotional agreement with Las Vegas-based Top Rank Inc. on Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed, but have both sides eagerly looking to the future.
“I am delighted to announce that I have extended my co-promotional agreement on a long-term deal with Top Rank boxing,” Dogboe (20-0, 14KOs) stated on social media Tuesday morning. “RSAP (Rising Star Africa Promotions) and I look forward to welcoming (Top Rank founder and Hall of Fame promoter) Bob Arum and the Top Rank team in our beautiful country, Ghana next year!”
The news was equally celebrated by the very man who plans to make Dogboe boxing’s next major star—both here in the United States and an even larger figure at home.
“We are pleased to announce that we’ve signed world champion Isaac Dogboe to a co-promotional deal with Rising Star Africa Promotions,” Arum said of the new deal. “We are looking forward to exploring the opportunity for Isaac Dogboe to defend his world championship in 2019 in Ghana.”
Dogboe immediately became a cult hero while kicking off the 2018 boxing season with a 5th round stoppage of Cesar Juarez in his birthtown of Accra, Ghana this past January. The win earned him the right to challenge then-unbeaten titleholder Jessie Magdaleno, who is promoted by Top Rank.
The promotional buildup to their April 28 encounter included its rocky moments, including extremely racially-insensitive comments made by Dogboe’s father and trainer, Paul who to his credit immediately walked back his remarks and left the promoting to the experts.
Dogboe went on to stop Magdaleno in the 11th round of their ESPN-televised Fight of the Year-level war in April, trading knockdowns before prevailing late to win the title.
The win was followed by his entering a one-year agreement with Top Rank, which he celebrated in style with a blistering 1st round knockout of Hidenori Otake this past August in Glendale, Arizona. Live sports conflicts delayed the show’s start time, with ESPN cameras barely catching the opening bell. Dogboe tore through his visiting Japanese challenger, dropping him twice en route to an emphatic first title defense.
It has since been suggested by Arum that the Royal Storm will next crash in New York City.
Dogboe was revealed as a highly likely candidate to land on the December 8 ESPN show at MSG’s Hulu Theatre, which will be headlined by the lightweight title unification clash between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jose Pedraza—the latter whom topped the aforementioned Glendale card in a lightweight title-winning 12-round decision over Ray Beltran.
The December 8 show will immediately follow ESPN’s live coverage of the annual Heisman Trophy Awards, honoring the best college football athlete of the year. The same formula applied last December, when Lomachenko battered Guillermo Rigondeaux atop the second most-watched cable TV boxing show of the year, also at Hulu Theatre (nee MSG Theatre).
Lomachenko (11-1, 9KOs) has since claimed a title in a third weight class, climbing off the deck to stop Jorge Linares in 10 rounds this past May. The two-time Olympic Gold medalist from Ukraine has long been identified along with unbeaten three-division titlist Terence Crawford as the tentpoles for Top Rank’s long-term network deal with ESPN.
A sport always in search of the next crossover star, it’s clear that in Dogboe a Royal Storm is brewing.
“Together with Paul Dogboe and Mike Altamura (Dogboe’s co-manager) we will afford Isaac opportunities to win championships in multiple weight divisions,” Arum promised.
Isaac “Brave-Son” Dogboe is Ghana’s Newest World Champion
By: Ken Hissner
On April 28th of this year Ghana’s Isaac “Brave-Son” Dogboe, 18-0 (12), came into Philadelphia to face the co-promoters boxer Jesse Magdaleno, 25-0 (18), of Las Vegas, NV.
At the press conference several days before their bout at the Liacouras Center of Temple University Magdaleno had some harsh childish name calling about the facial appearance of Dogboe. He was one nasty opponent who wanted to bait Dogboe into his child like name calling. I knew for sure I would not be rooting for Magdaleno.
In the first round of their fight Magdaleno dropped Dogboe. By the end of the third round it didn’t look good for Dogboe. Suddenly in the fifth round Dogboe started a body attack that took out the gut’s and heart of Magdaleno dropping him. By the eleventh round Magdaleno hit the canvas two more times forcing referee Benjy Esteves, Jr., to wave the fight off at 1:38 of the eleventh round proclaiming Dogboe the World Boxing Organisation World Super Bantamweight Title. Dogboe was ahead on the three scorecards by 96-91, 95-93 and 97-91 at the time of the stoppage.
At a dinner the night before the press conference I was able to attend at an Upper Darby Afro-American eatery sponsored by co-promoter J Russell Peltz who was accompanied by “Raging Babe”. The meal was splendid. I got a picture with Dogboe and I felt I obtained a “new friend!” I brought him his record via www.boxrec.com along with three fellow former boxers from Ghana including Azuma “Professor” Nelson, WBC World Super Featherweight champion, Floyd Robertson, former British Commonwealth (Empire) champion and two-time world title challenger and Love Allotey, British Commonwealth (Empire) champion and world title challenger.
Dogboe turned professional on August 30, 2013 in a 6 round bout knocking out Csaba Toth, 10-18. It would be ten months before he had his second fight being in Belfast Harris defeating Andy Harris, 3-14-1, dropping Harris in the first round. In his next five fights over a six month period all in the USA Dogboe would stretch his winning streak to seven! In his next eight fights all in his home country of Ghana he increased his unbeaten winning streak to fifteen.
On November 06, 2015 Dogboe would win his first minor title the vacant West African Boxing Union Featherweight title stopping John Oblitey Commey, 9-18, in the third round of a scheduled 12. Two fights later he would add a second title stopping Michael Pappoe, 13-2, for the World Boxing Organisation Africa Featherweight Title winning every one of the twelve rounds.
On June 18, 2016 Dogboe would stop Edward Kakembo, 10-0, of Uganda, living in Silver Springs, MD, in the sixth round of his newest title in his first defense. In his next bout he would defeat Neil John Tabanao, 13-1, of Cebu, Philippines, winning the vacant World boxing Council Youth Silver Featherweight Title, the World Boxing Organisation Oriental title and a defense of his Africa title
Four months later Dogboe would drop down to Super Bantamweight and won the vacant World Boxing Organisation International Title with a seventh round stoppage of Julian Evaristo Aristule, 32-6, of Argentina, the South American champion at Spark Arena, Auckland, NZ.
In July 22, 2017, Dogboe would defend his WBO Int’l title stopping Javier Nicolas Chacon, 25-3-1 at the end of six rounds. Some eleven months later he would win the interim World Boxing Organisation’s World Super Bantamweight Title stopping Cesar Juarez, 20-5, of Mexico City, MEX, in the fifth round of a scheduled 12. Both fights were at the Bukom Boxing Arena, in Accra, Ghana. This fight set-up his meeting with Magdaleno almost four months later in Philadelphia. He is trained and promoted by his father Paul Dogboe of Rising Stars Africa. His manager is John Arthur.
Through his advisor Mike Altamura I was able to conduct a Q&A with the new world champion.
KEN HISSNER: Did Magdaleno get you to the point at the press conference you wanted to punish him even more in your bout with him?
ISAAC DOGBOE: Not really. He’s a nice guy and a true warrior. I just wanted him to come and fight. Not run. I thought he brought his best.
KEN HISSNER: In October of 2014 you came to the USA and won five fights over a six month space of time. How did this come about bringing you to the USA?
ISAAC DOGBOE: Well the legend James “Lights Out” Toney came to London and my dad met him and he asked my dad to show him where to get a cigar! So my dad drove him to central London Chinatown and got it for him. They became friends and my dad invited him to the gym to come check me spar and he fell in love with my style. Next minute I was in the USA with my dad to make history.
KEN HISSNER: How were you received when you returned to your home country of Ghana?
ISAAC DOGBOE: Well the people were amazing and were calling me the second coming of Azuma Nelson. I was loved by them but the boxing fraternity kinda shunned me because they were saying this little kid just came on the scene and he’s beating all our boxers.
KEN HISSNER: I see your No. 1 contender is Diego De La Hoya from Mexico. What are your future plans?
ISAAC DOGBOE: I was born ready so if he wants it and the world wants it, why not? If Top Rank arranges it I am game. I’d love to make a defense then immediately eye unification.
KEN HISSNER: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
ISAAC DOGBOE: Of course. God Bless them for all supporting me and I love them. Without the fans there is no Isaac Dogboe.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you my new friend and world champion for taking the time to answering these questions.
ISAAC DOGBOE: Ken, thank you too, and God Bless. You do a great job covering our sport.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Magdaleno Loses Title by KO to Dogboe, Hart and Jennings Win
By: Ken Hissner
Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions brought back big time boxing to Philadelphia Saturday, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center via ESPN before a well entertained crowd.
In the Main Event WBO World Junior Featherweight champion southpaw Jesse Magdelano, 25-1 (18), of Las Vegas, NV, tasted defeat for the first time losing to interim WBO champion Isaac Dogboe, 19-0 (13), of Accra, GH, who stopped him at 1:38 of the eleventh round of a scheduled 12.
In the first round Dogboe was the aggressor. Dogboe landed a solid left hook to the head of Magdelano but got countered with a 3 punch combination dropping him. Magdelano lead with a left hand to the chin of Dogboe hurting him but Dogboe tossed him to the canvas. In the second round Dogboe led with a right but got countered by a Magdelano left to the head. Dogboe rocked Magdelano with a lead overhand right to the head.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
In the third round Dogboe led with a right to the chin of Magdelano making him clinch. A left uppercut to the chin by Magdelano buckled the knees of Dogboe. Dogboe came back with a good combination to the body and head of Magdelano. At the bell Dogboe landed a hard overhand right to the chin of Magdelano. In the fourth round both landed with exchanges. A pair of rights to the head from Dogboe rocked Magdelano.
In the fifth round Dogboe dropped Magdelano with a vicious right to the chin. Then he went after him with a flurry of punches making Magdelano hold on. In the sixth round Dogboe drove Magdelano into the ropes on several occasions making him hold on. The sixth and seventh rounds were dominated by Dogboe though Magdelano was always dangerous. In the eighth round Dogboe continued to go after Magdelano with body and head shots. Dogboe told this writer prior to the fight he would “outsmart Magdelano” and that is the way he fought.
In the ninth round Dogboe backed up Magdelano without throwing any punches for the most part as Dogboe seemed to be loading up. Referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. had trouble at times sepeerating the two with Magdelano refusing to let go of Dogboe. It was a cat and mouse round with Magdelano getting chased.
In the tenth round Dogboe landed half a dozen punches hurting Magdelano who would pound on his own chest as if he was hurt but was. A body shot by Dogboe from a right to the body hurt Magdelano. Magdelano walked on shaky legs back to his corner. In the eleventh round Dogboe landed four unanswered punches. Seconds later a combination from Dogboe dropped Magdelano to his knees. Dogboe jumped all over him with body shots until a right uppercut dropping him until referee Esteves wisely stopped the onslaught. Dogboe made Magdelano pay for his remarks at the press conference!
Dogboe got off to a slow start but from the fourth round on it was all his fight. This humble God loving fighter will be taking the championship belt back to his home in Ghana! It couldn’t happen to a nicer God loving man!
Co-Feature Event Super Middleweight WBO No. 1 contender Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 24-1 (20), of Philadelphia, overwhelmed Demond “D’Bestatit” Nicholson, 18-3-1 (17), of Laurel, MD, at 2:26 of the seventh round for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight title.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
In the first round Hart came out like a wild man trying to end it early. He is not the puncher like his father. He has better tools but not the punch of “the Cyclone”. He controlled the entire round up until the final seconds when Nicholson hit him with a right knocking him across the ring into the ropes which should have been ruled a knockdown by referee Shawn Clark. In the third round Hart landed a left to the body causing a delayed knockdown. Hart landed a left hook to the chin of Nicholson almost dropping him.
In the fourth round Hart continued to man handle Nicholson throughout with Nicholson landing an occasional right to the head of Hart. In the fifth round Hart continued to throw the right hand bomb but got countered with a solid right from Nicholson on the chin. Nicholson kept slipping most of Hart’s wild punches but got hit enough not to win the round. Nicholson showed too much respect for Hart who at the press conference said “I looked up to him when I was just 14!”
In the sixth round Hart landed three right hands to the head while in close. Nicholson finally came back with a left hook to the head of Hart. Hart kept pinning Nicholson to the ropes where Nicholson was defenseless. A Hart uppercut to the chin of Nicholson rocked him. Nicholson landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Hart and came back with two more ending the round.
In the seventh round it was Nicholson turning aggressor. Hart looked like he was spent from all the punching he did earlier and all of a sudden he seemed to hurt Nicholson but went after him and missed with a left hook but seemed to push Nicholson to the canvas who argued with the referee Clark but wouldn’t get up. When he did the referee waved it off.
There was a controversy afterwards between both fighters almost coming to blows. The Nicholson camp and the fighter were unhappy with the ending but he lost every round and should have let his hands not his mouth do the talking.
Heavyweight Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 23-2 (13), won a close hard decision over Joey “Tank” Dawejko, 19-5-4 (11), of Philadelphia, for the vacant USA PA Heavyweight title over 10 rounds.
In the first round Dawejko landed several left hooks to the body of Jennings. Jennings came back with a double jab to the chin. Dawejko landed a double left hook to body and head of Jennings. Jennings depended on his jab the entire round. Dawejko was much more active. In the second round Jennings started off with a left hook to the head of Dawejko. Dawejko dug in a left hook to the body of Jennings whiono continues using his jab to chin and mid-section. Dawejko warned for low punch by referee Gary Rosato. Dawejko came back with a right to the head. Jennings ended the round with a solid left hook to the head of Dawejko.
In the third round Dawejko landed a lead overhand right to the head of Jennings. Dawejko landed a trip left hook to the body and head of Jennings. Jennings came back to do the same combination. In the fourth round Jennings landed a double jab to the chin. Dawejko came back with a combination to the head. Dawejko landed a right uppercut to the chin and followed with a left hook to the head of Jennings. Dawejko missed with a left hook while Jennings countered with his best punch a right to the head of Dawejko. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a low punch causing referee Rosato to warn him.
In the fifth round Dawejko landed a looping left hook to the head of Jennings. Both fighters exchanged good body shots inside. Jennings continues to use an effective jab. Dawejko continues to stalk him. At the ten second warning Jennings landed a solid right following a jab to the chin of Dawejko getting his attention. In the sixth round Jennings landed a left hook to the head of Dawejko knocking him off balance. Jennings halfway through the round started using the ring to avoid any exchanges giving away the round.
In the seventh round Dawejko went after Jennings with left hooks to the body and head. Jennings kept peppering Dawejko with his jab. Jennings countered Dawejko with a right uppercut to the chin. In the eighth round Jennings started thins off with a right to the body and head of Dawejko. Dawejko pinned Jennings to the ropes while Jennings tried to spin him off but ended in a clinch. Dawejko drove Jennings into a corner with a flurry of punches.
In the ninth round Jennings landed a good left hook to the chin of Dawejko who acknowledged it as a good one. Dawejko pushed Jennings into a corner forcing Jennings to tie him up. Jennings landed a lead straight right to the chin of Dawejko getting a reaction from the crowd. Dawejko ended the round with a combination to the body of Jennings.
In the tenth and final round Dawejko pinned Jennings against the ropes while referee Rosado again stepped in separating the two. Jennings knocked the mouthpiece of Dawejko out with a right to the chin. Jennings landed a 3-punch combination to the head and body of Dawejko. Dawejko landed a half dozen unanswered punches before Jennings landed a solid left hook to the head.
“I thought it was a competitive fight and maybe I should have done more,” said Dawejko. That was a statement from a very humble Dawejko. He did mention that he felt the referee separated them too much when he had Jennings against the ropes throwing punches. Both fighters showed respect at the press conference for each other and it seemed to carry on after the fight but from press row this writer was not able to hear Jennings comments and since the Executive Director Greg Sirb doesn’t allow this writer into the locker rooms after fights I was not able to talk to Jennings.
“Styles make good fights and I thought I came out with the win. With a new trainer I have to try to get what he wants me to do. I believe good things are coming. Joey is a slick fighter trying to set traps for me. It isn’t easy fighting a smaller fighter at times. I felt the scoring was what I felt it should have been. I was hurt once in the fight. He is a helluva fighter. We showed respect for one another knowing when we got warned from the referee it was not intentional on our parts,” said Jennings.
Judges all had it 98-92 for Jennings but this writer had it 97-93 for Dawejko. The press favored Jennings for the most part.
2016 Olympian southpaw Shakur Stevenson, 6-0 (3), of Newark, NJ, won by TKO over Roxberg Patrick Riley, 12-1 (6), Dallas, GA, at 1:35 of the second reound in a scheduled 8.
In the first round Stevenson used an effective jab to control the pace. Stevenson hurt Riley with a straight left to the mid-section of Riley. In the second round a left hook from Stevenson drove Riley into the ropes. Stevenson knocked Riley down with a combination of punches. He followed up with an onslaught of punches causing referee Clark to call a halt.
Super Featherweight 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Robson Conceicao, 7-0 (4), of Salvador, Bahia, BRZ, pitched a shutout over Mexican Alex Torres “Azteca de Oro” Rynn, 6-2 (3), of Calgary, Ontario, CAN, over 6 rounds.
In the first round Conceicao dominated Rynn with good body work and occasional head shots. In the second round Conceicao continued with solid body work with both hands. Rynn kept switching from orthodox to southpaw and back. Conceicao landed a hard combination to the head and ended the round with a right to the chin of Rynn.
In the third round Conceicao kept landing with body punches but Rynn landed a hard counter right from the southpaw stance. From the third round through to the sixth Conceicao put on a good exhibition of his boxing skills.
All 3 judges and this writer had it 60-54.
Popular Bantamweight Christian Carto, 12-0 (8), of South Philadelphia, won an easy decision over Edwin “Puto” Rodriguez, 8-5-1 (4), of PR, over 8 rounds.
In the first round Carto controlled with his jab. Rodriguez landed a left hook which was countered by a Carto right to the head. Carto landed a solid right to the head of Rodriguez who was coming forward. Carto landed a double left hook as the bell sounded ending the round. In the second round Carto landed a double jab followed by a left hook to the body of Rodriguez. Both fighters exchanged left hooks to the head. Carto landed a lightning fast lead right to the chin of Rodriguez. Carto continued to set the pace with his jab.
In the third round Carto landed a 3-punch combination to body and head of Rodriguez. Carto landed a left hook to the ribs of Rodriguez. Carto landed a jab follwed by a right to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued to make Rodriguez miss. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto at the bell. In the fourth round Rodriguez landed a double left hook to the body of Carto. Carto landed a double left hook to the body and head of Rodriguez. Carto controlled with his jab but got countered by a Rodriguez right to the chin. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Carto who countered with a left hook to the chin at the bell.
In the fifth round both boxers landed several body punches. Carto hurt Rodriguez with a hard left hook to the head. Carto landed several lead rights to the chin of Rodriguez. Both exchanged rights to the head. Carto ended the round with a 3-punch combination to body and head. In the sixth round Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Carto. There was a clash of heads leaving a lump on the top of Carto’s head. While using the ring well Carto countered with rights to the head of Rodriguez. Carto continued at times backing into the ropes and countered Rodriguez well.
In the seventh round both boxers exchanged rights to the head. Carto landed several counter left’s to the body of Rodriguez. Rodriguez landed a short right to the chin of Carto. In the eighth and final round Carto countered a Rodriguez left with a combination to the head. Carto continues to impress with each fight.
“He was a tough fighter. I thought I got head butted in the sixth round. It was a tough fight but I’m learning”, said Carto. His trainer is Mickey Rosati, his brother Frankie is the assistant and manager while cut-man Joey Eye rounded out team Carto.
Judges had it 77-75 twice and 78-74 while this writer had it 80-72.
Super Lightweight Kent “The Puerto Rican Sensation” Cruz, 14-0-1 (9), of St. Louis, MO, and Mohamed Rodriguez, 11-4-1 (4), of San Luis Potosi, MEX, drew in a lack luster 8 rounds.
In the first round the boxers felt each other out as Cruz stalked Rodriguez landing an occasional jab. Rodriguez missed with a wild left hook. Cruz landed a partially blocked right to the head of Rodriguez. In the second round Rodriguez missed with a wild right. Cruz landed a double jab to the chin of Rodriguez. Cruz missed a right and was countered by a Rodriguez left hook to the chin. Rodriguez landed a right to the head of Cruz just prior to the end of the round.
In the third round Cruz threw a pair of left hooks with the second one landing on the chin of Rodriguez. In close Cruz landed a left hook to the head of Rodriguez. Rodriguez missed with 3 punches. In the fourth round little action continued with Cruz using his jab. Cruz received a warning for hitting the back of the head of Rodriguez. In the fifth round Rodriguez missed with a right while Cruz countered with a solid left hook to the chin of Rodriguez which was the best punch of the fight up until then.
In the sixth round Cruz continued using the jab. Cruz landed a right to the body of Rodriguez. Both boxers exchanged jabs to the mid-section. In the seventh round both landed left hooks to the head at the same time. Rodriguez continued to miss more than landing. In the eighth and final round Rodriguez landed a left hook to the chin of Cruz and did a little dance. Rodriguez landed a left hook to the head of Cruz and missed with a second one.
The Judges had it 78-74 Cruz, 77-75 Rodriguez, and 76-76. This writer had it 77-75 Cruz. This entire fight was without anything to get the crowd into it.
Hot prospect Lightweight Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, 7-0 (7), of Allentown, PA, stopped Jorge Hugo “Dandy” Padron, 3-2 (3), of Sonora, MEX, at 1:11 of the first round in a scheduled 6 rounds.
In the first round Adorno stalked Padron landing a solid left to the body. Seconds later Adorno landed a jab followed by a wicked right to the ribs of Padron dropping him to a knee and unable to continue. Adorn brought many fans from the Lehigh County with him.
Opening the event Super Welterweight Marcel Rivers, 5-0 (4), of Philadelphia, stopped Ronald Logan, 0-3 (0), of the Bronx, NY, at 0:40 of the second round of a scheduled 4 rounds.
In the first round Rivers landed the first solid punch a right to the head of Logan backing him up several steps. Shortly thereafter a Rivers right to the mid-section backed Logan up several steps. Rivers continued to stalk Logan. Logan threw an overhand right that missed while Rivers countered with a combination to the head of Logan. In the second round Rivers landed a solid left hook to the head of Logan who started to run backwards until he fell on his own. Referee Rosato ruled it a slip. Upon rising Logan started to limp and indicated he couldn’t continue forcing the referee to halt the fight.
Ring announcer Lupe Contreras is back in the east and doing his usual great job.
WBO Title Fight and Dawejko vs Jennings Biggest Philly Event in Years
By: Ken Hissner
Top Rank and Peltz Boxing Promotions on Saturday April 28th are bringing big time boxing back to Philly at the Liacouras Center (Temple U) in Philadelphia that the area hasn’t seen in years. Brad Goodman and J Russell Peltz doing the matchmaking.
Top Rank is responsible for bringing in a rare world title fight with WBO World Super Bantamweight Champion southpaw Jesse Magdaleno, 25-0 (18), of Las Vegas, NV, making his second title defense against interim champion and mandatory Isaac ‘Brave-Son’ Dogboe, 18-0 (12), of Accra, Ghana, over 12 rounds. This event will be on USA ESPN (at 4pm) but there is nothing like being there when it comes to the sport of boxing.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
“I’m going to put on a spectacular show. I’m mentally ready. I’m physically ready. Being here with (trainer) Manny Robles keeps me ready. The sparring has been great, but I get impatient sometimes and I just want to get in the ring for real. I have to stay calm and wait until the fight comes,” said Magdaleno. His trainer Manny Robles added “Dogboe is a real tough opponent. Jessie definitely has to be ready for this fight, and it should be a fan-friendly fight”.
At the Kings & Queens Liberian Cuisine in Upper Darby, PA, a African American restaurant Wednesday night J Russell Peltz and “Raging Babe” Michelle Rosado hosted Dogboe and his family (father-trainer Paul) and friends including his manager Mike Altamuia, from Australia. “I won 3 National titles and was in the 2012 Olympics. Every fight is based on intelligence. It isn’t if I’m going to knock out Magdaleno, but when I knock him out,” said Dodboe.
This card is “loaded” with talent and the Philadelphia fans are obviously looking forward to the Joey “The Tank” Dawejko, 19-4-4 (11), and Bryant “By-By” Jennings, 22-2 (13), PA State Heavyweight Title fight. It will be the “rematch” from when Dawejko defeated Jennings in the amateurs.
“This is the biggest fight of my career and I want to prove to the world I am a legitimate contender and I’m ready to go. I had a great camp in California with trainer Shadeed Suluke (trained James Toney among many),” said Dawejko.
His manager of almost 4 years Mark Cipparone who by the way is a perfect fit for Dawejko and serves as a good example what a manager should do for his fighter had this to say “I just think Joey has made the maturity and has given everything to his conditioning”. It’s been said Dawejko has the best left hook since “Smokin” Joe Frazier in Philly and for those who feel he should be a cruiserweight he has fought at heavyweight in the amateurs and professional ranks and has nothing to prove to anyone.
Jennings in 2014 put the first loss in back to back fights to Artur Szpilka, 16-0, and Mike Perez, 20-0-1. This earned him a world title fight with Wladimir Klitschko, 63-3, in 2015 where he lost a 12 round decision. In his next fight he faced at the time possibly the most feared fighter in the division in losing to Cuban Louis Ortiz some 8 months later. He was inactive in 2016 and returned in 2017 posting a pair of stoppages and one in February of 2018. This fight is “personal!”
Also, on the undercard is No. 1 ranked WBO Super Middleweight Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 23-1 (19), fighting for the vacant NABF title against Demond “D’Bestatit” Nicholson, 18-2-1 (17), of Laurel, MD, in a 10 round bout. It will be Hart’s second bout since losing a decision to WBO Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez last September.
Very popular Philly bantamweight Christian Carton, 14-0 (11), will be taking on Edwin “Puto” Rodriguez, 9-4 (5), of Puerto Rico in an 8. 2016 Olympian Shakur Stevenson, 5-0 (2), of Newark, NJ, takes on Roxberg Patrick Riley, 12-0 (6), of Dallas, TX, in an 8 round featherweight match.
A pair of top prospects in Allentown’s Super Featherweight Joseph Adorno, 6-0 (6), will be in a 6 while Philly’s welterweight Marcel Rivers, 4-0 (3), will be in a 4. Brazil’s 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Super Featherweight Robson Conceicao, 6-0 (4), will be in an 8 as will Super Lightweight Kent Cruz, 14-0 (9), of St. Louis, MO.