Accra, Boxing is on the rise. We are back to the old glory days from today, these were the words of Isaac ‘The Royal Storm’ Dogboe, after he successfully defended his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Africa featherweight title for the second time in a sixth round knockout over Ugandan Edward Kakembo in Ghana two years ago.
Exactly two years after his declaration, the 23 year Dogboe, has got the whole country toasting and buzzing not only for his historic achievement, but also for the revival of boxing as a top sport in Ghana that has come with the victory � mind you Boxing won Ghana’s first medal at the Olympics Games.
The youngest world champion Ghana has ever produced displayed a spirited performance in an unfamiliar ground at the Liacouras Centre in Philadelphia, USA to win the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) World Super Bantamweight belt.
Dogboe, who was the youngest boxer to compete at the London Olympics, in a stunning upset climbed off the canvas to become a world champion in the early hours of Sunday, April 29, as he stopped Jessie Magdaleno, the highly-touted American, to win the WBO super-bantamweight title in a 11th round knockout.
He calls himself the son of a lion and indeed he roared at the biggest moment of his professional career. Magdeleno who was undefeated in 25 bouts (18 KOs) was abashed in his first defeat before his favourite crowd by the ‘son of a lion’.
It comes as no surprise really with the scores of congratulatory messages coming in for the history maker, Dogboe scores of such messages from the first gentleman of the land, to politicians, institutions, diplomats and the ordinary Ghanaian alike sums up how much the country has thirsted for a world champion after a six year hiatus.
Not to take anything away from Dogboe, however there is a proverb in the Akan language that says; wo nni panin aa due and literally translates as everyone needs an elderly counsel.
Rightly so it has been through the work of one of such counsels that has Ghana back on the world map of boxing.
If there was one single person who believed in the career of Dogboe and envisioned for him to be a world title holder then the first and last name that easily comes to mind is the former president, Jerry John Rawlings.
The former president has been staunch supporter and cheer leader of the talented boxer. As synonymous as it had become of Mr Rawlings, he has never missed any of Dogboe’s fight in Ghana, and it is not surprising that Dogboe refers to him as his uncle.
It all started after that Kakembo fight two years ago when the visionary Rawlings saw more than a local champion but a world champion in Dogboe. Mr Rawlings then subsequently threw a whale of a challenge to Dogboe by irritating the beast in him to occupy in the shoes of Boxing Hall of Famer and the greatest boxer from the African soil, Azumah Nelson.
Dogbe now has the responsibility of carrying on from where Azumah Nelson left off. Let’s give him all our support, give him good fights to ensure that he captures the world featherweight champion, Mr Rawlings insisted.
Perhaps Mr Rawlings knew what he had seen in the young Dogboe and was convinced getting to Azumah’s level was not far from reach, for him to push him to realise his full potentials.
Was the call too huge for the reigning world WBO Super Bantamweight champion at the time and how did he receive the challenge to match Azumah’s standard? Well that is what you will love Dogboe for, he is a canonist!
My Dad has had that vision and that is the reason why I am still here today. So it takes another great man (Rawlings) to see that vision. With God all things are possible and I definitely believe I am going to bring the title to Ghana,’ the former Ghanaian Olympian said in a response.
His response to a large extent suggested of the kind of conviction he had in making true what he had promised.
Today I am sure Uncle Rawlings will be proud that his ‘nephew’ is on the path of filling Azumah’s shoe. But more importantly, Dogboe with an impressive record of 19 professional fights with no defeat and 13 knockouts is undeniably living his words of bringing Ghana boxing back to the old glory days from today. Boxing is indeed on the rise again!
Source: Ghana News Agency