By David Finger at ringside
For any event that takes place in an outside arena, there is nothing more worrisome then storm clouds in the sky on the afternoon of the fight. And as light rain starting to sprinkle down in Accra, Ghana after an overcast day on Saturday afternoon (July 22nd) there was a legitimate fear with boxing fans in the West African city that a storm would hit. Well, the rain let up and the skies cleared up by the time the event kicked off. But at the end of the show there was no question in anyone’s mind that a storm did in fact touch down in the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra.
Unbeaten WBO #4 junior featherweight Isaac Dogboe Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe (17-0, 11 KOs) scored what was his most dominant performance to date and he dominated Argentina’s two-time world title challenger Javier Chacon (25-4-1, 7 KOs), forcing Chacon’s chief second to stop the fight in the corner after round six. The fight was billed “The Battle to Vegas” and was promoted as an unofficial elimination fight for a shot at WBO junior featherweight champion Jesse Magdaeno.
And although the Magdaleno fight is yet to be finalized, Dogboe did establish himself as one of the most attractive contenders in the WBO world ranking after this performance. For boxing fans in Ghana, there is already a growing sense that Dogboe punched his ticket to a world title fight based on this performance.
The fight kicked off with a level of energy that could only be found in a boxing arena in Ghana, with African fight fans chanting, cheering, dancing, and banging drums as Dogboe made his way to the ring. Early in the opening round it appeared as if Dogboe was content to feel out his gritty Argentine opponent. Chacon appeared to concur with the strategy and mostly kept his distance in the first, moving around the ring and feeling out his Ghanaian opponent as well. Chacon did start to come alive late in the opening round, throwing some hard combinations. But Dogboe easily avoided damage and began to up the pressure on his end. Chacon, after getting tagged with a rapid fire combination, waved Dogboe in for more as the round closed down, but it was nonetheless apparent that Chacon would need a different strategy if he were going to win the fight.
Round two saw both fighters trying to up their offense, but what was becoming abundantly clear almost immediately was that Dogboe was quicker, slicker, and more skilled than Chacon. Chacon buckled early in the round thanks to a devastating body shot and missed all of his punches when he tried to fire back with a three punch combination in return. Dogboe returned to the body later in the round and followed up with a three punch combo upstairs. Although Chacon refused to take a backward step, most observers could see that Dogboe was in complete control of the fight.
Chacon fought back well in the third round, the only round that he could have arguably have won. Although Dogboe was in complete control in the first half of the round, Chacon did land a solid left hook that slowed Isaac down somewhat in the final minute of the round. But even as Dogboe took his foot off the gas pedal he still seemed to be at ease, boxing behind an effective jab.
Round three would end up being Chacon’s only highlight, as Dogboe completely shut down the brawler from Mendoza in round four. Chacon, complaining of a head butt early on, was immediately overwhelmed by Dogboe, who saw Chacon’s complain to referee Tony Weeks as a sign of frustration. Chacon seemed visibly rattled by the sudden aggression of Dogboe and he provided no response other than to shrug at Dogboe. Round five saw more of the same as Isaac dominated from the outside while Chacon was relegated to ineffectively stalking his African opponent. Chacon again complained about a head butt in the sixth, but the signs were already present that the steel chinned Argentine was about to break. As Chacon tried to bully Dogboe to the ropes, he failed to land a single meaningful punch and was rewarded with a hard counter punch that visibly hurt him and sent him reeling back. Chacon’s glove nearly touched the canvas as he stumbled back and by rounds end it started looking like he would be hard press to make it more than a few more rounds. But with six rounds in the can and Chacon having won no rounds on any of the judge’s scorecards, Chacon’s corner elected to stop the fight in between rounds, giving Isaac Dogboe a TKO victory. With the win Dogboe improves to 17-0, 11 KOs while Chacon drops to 25-4-1, 7 KOs.
In the co-main event, which was forced to take place after the Dogboe fight due to the undercard fights running late, Nigerian cruiserweight contender Olarewaju Duradola, 196, easily dispatched Tanzania’s Karama Nyilawila, 186, in the second round. The 36-year old Nigerian had won the WBO African cruiserweight title in the same ring back in March and was hoping to get back on the winning track after losing his last fight for the WBC silver cruiserweight title in June. Duradola towered over the smaller Tanzanian, who elected to try and keep as much distance between himself and Duradola in the opening round. Perhaps sensing the need to put an exclamation point on the night (it was the final fight of the evening) Duradola jumped all over Nyilawila at the start of the second and clubbed his smaller foe to the canvas. The fight was quickly waved off with a visibly hurt Nyilawila on the canvas. The official time came at 0:18 of the second round. With the win Duradola improves to 26-4, 24 KOs while Nyilawila drops to 24-17-3, 14 KOs. The referee was May Mensah Akakpo.
In what can only be described as a “win tonight, look good next time” sort of fight, undefeated middleweight Prince Oko Nartey, 165, went the distance for the first time against David Ehizojie, 166, of Nigeria. Early on it was apparent that Ehizojie was somewhat nervous about fighting on such a large stage. He used his one advantage, his reach, to frustrate Nartey by clinching whenever the Ghanaian came in close. Nartey was unable to find an answer to the clinching ways of the Nigerian, and seemed visibly frustrated over the course of six rounds. All three judges had the fight comfortably for Nartey after six (judges Clement Ashong and Micheal Neequaye scored the fight 60-54 while Judge Shadrack Acquaye score the fight 60-56). The referee was Erasmus Owoo. With the win Nartey improves to 3-0, 2 KOs.
In the third bout of the night Victor Kuwornu, 136, scored a lopsided decision over Enoch Lamptey, 141, over six rounds. Kuwornu was surprisingly dropped by Lamptey in the opening round, but it would prove to be Lamptey’s lone highlight. The taller Kuwornu used his reach to pump out an effective jab and completely shut down the offense of Lamptey over the duration of the fight. Judge J.B. Owusu Asah had the fight 58-55 for Kuwurnu, Judge Clement Ashong had it 59-54 for Kuwurnu. Judge May Mensah Akakpo had the fight scored 59-55 for Kuwurnu. The referee was Michael Neequaye. With the win Victor, who stepped into the ring after a three year layoff, sees his record improve to 5-0, 3 KOs. Lamptey drops to 0-6.
Wasiu Mohammed, 128, taunted and dominated Emmanuel Laryea, 125, before stopping him in brutal fashion in the second round. Mohammed dropped Laryea in the opening round with a jab before dropping him a second time in the opening seconds of the second round with a hard left hook. Referee Michael Neequaye waved the fight off after the second knockdown in the second round.
In the first walk out bout of the night hard luck Albert Commey, 117, scored a highlight reel knockout over hapless Michael Tagoe, 112, in the opening minute of the fight. Despite similar records, the fight looked like a mismatch almost immediately as the much larger Commey seemed to tower over the shorter Tagoe, almost to the point that it looked like a middleweight versus a bantamweight in the ring. Less than a minute into the round a picture perfect right hand dropped Tagoe to the canvas in scary fashion. Tagoe appeared to be unconscious before he hit the canvas as the fight was immediately waved off by referee Michael Neequaye at 0:40 of the first round. There were several scary minutes in the ring before Tagoe was able to get up. With the win Commey improves to 2-5, 1 KO while Tagoe, who should retire from professional boxing, drops to 0-6.
In the second walk out bout undefeated Nigerian Kabiru Towolawi, 170, dominated debuting Ghanaian David Allotey, 172, before stopping him in the second round. Towolawi dropped Allotey in round one and seemed poised to score the knockout before the trainer of Allotey stepped into the ring to signal his corner’s surrender. Referee Erasmus Owoo obliged him and waved the fight off, giving Towolawi a TKO victory in the second round. With the win Towolawi improves to 4-0, 3 KOs.
In the opening fight of the night Daniel Ankornu, 132, dominated Evans Darko, 131, picking him apart from the outside before the mismatch was waved off at 1:30 of round two.