2023 Titles and Big Bouts– Dogboe, Commey and Tagoe still in the Mix

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Since the IBF lightweight title slipped through the hands of Richard Commey, in 2019, Ghana has returned to the drought scale when it comes to major world titles.

Following the disappointment of the first-round exit for the Black Stars late last year at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, the focus for many is where Ghana will assume global dominance – boxing seems to lead the way.

The hopes of the people for laurel rest firmly on the shoulders of Isaac Dogboe who previously held the WBO super bantamweight title, Richard Commey the former IBF lightweight champion and Emmanuel Tagoe who had a stint with the IBO lightweight title.

The three are in this hallowed space in Ghana’s international sports performance due to previous exploits and the weight of their respective promotional arms.

Isaac Dogboe

Dangling right before the champion from 2018 is clearly a big date illustrating the direction of his recent efforts to get back to the top.

Dogboe has Cuban southpaw Robeisy Ramirez (11-1, 7 Kos) to get past to claim the WBO featherweight title. The 28-year-old former champion has been on a mission to regain status quo – one which required a reshuffle of his team and moving up in weight.

And yes, the mission has been successful so far, starting with the post Covid-19 lockdown TKO win over Chris Avalos in Las Vegas in July 2020.

The lessons from the win spurred him on to majority decision wins in 10-rounders against Adam Lopez and Christopher Diaz.

And after overcoming a tough test from Joet Gonzalez, Dogboe earned a shot at the WBO title and earned one of the top two positions on the WBCs rankings.

He opted for the former since it holds a bigger weight and could give him bigger equity going into any subsequent bouts if he is successful on April 1.

Dogboe as a sporting personality has good public appeal in Ghana and to a large extent is nationalist in thinking and conduct.

This explains his comments in an exclusive interview where he feels responsible for bringing joy to the Ghanaian people by winning on April 1.

“Back in 2018 when I was about to fight for the world title, Ghana’s international image had seen a bit of a dip and I felt that my win lifted the spirits of the people.”

“We find ourselves in a similar situation and I have the responsibility to lift Ghana’s image in sports I am very committed to do this for my nation and the people.”

Added to these, his status as a signee of Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions gives him a head start in terms of opportunities available post-April 1.

Dogboe has already told Joy Sports he is happy with the journey so far.

In the absence of any injuries and failed negotiations Dogboe should be sailing smoothly in the relevant spaces and platforms this year.

Richard Commey

Richard Commey will be in action in the last week of March against Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17kos) in Fresno, California in a bout that will pave the way for a junior welterweight title shot.

Commey is re-organizing himself after losing the WBO lightweight eliminator to Vasily Lomachenko and managed to pick a draw in his last bout against Jose Pedraza.

Ramirez himself is particular about the kinds of platforms he features on and good rewards, as he recently turned down a world title offer with Regis Prograis, as a result of an unfair purse share.

The meeting with Commey under Top Rank is a headliner on the bill and seems a perfect arrangement.

In Ghana’s history, Richard Commey (30-4-1, 27 kos) is among Ghana’s three world champions who hardly had an amateur career.

Kickboxing was his previous endeavour and even though he had to cut it short, was good at it.

Commey’s short stint with the IBF lightweight title has stirred some hunger to reclaim the glory.

The former champion is however unperturbed about is that his national federation, the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA) who have slapped an indefinite ban on him for misconduct.

Commey will therefore not associate himself with the GBA in any way as he is currently licensed by the US Boxing Association (USBA).

This scenario is similar when former WBA welterweight champion Ike Bazooka Quartey fought Fernando Vargas.

Quartey just like Commey was asked by the GBA to pay a levy from his purse which he refused.

Commey’s bigger motivation to prove to the world that he is a major item in the division will also stem from the last result he recorded which was a split draw with Jose Pedraza, which many pundits feel should have been scored in his (Commey’s) favour.

The scorecards of Henry Gueary, Gary Ritter and David Sutherland read 97-93, 95-95 and 94-96 respectively.

With his current number 10 position on the WBC and WBO rankings, a confirmation is expected soon.

Emmanuel Tagoe

According to the ‘Game Boy’ his last performance against Ryan Garcia which he lost, got him some opportunities.

The former IBO champion revealed in an earlier interview that he went into the bout with an injury which was worth cancelling the fight for.

But he hardly wanted the opportunity to slip by and had to get into the ring with the ‘comeback kid’ Garcia who has since won two bouts to remain undefeated.

Tagoe who has won 32 of his 34 professional bouts since stepping into the ranks in 2004 seems to be headed towards the high point of his career.

What is required as a matter of importance is all matters in the boardroom since they will have a direct bearing on fight arrangements for the year and beyond.

If he decides to remain at 135lbs he would have to target the likes of Devin Haney (27-0), Vasyl Lomachaenko (17-2), Gervonta Davis (28-0) Isaac Cruz (24-2-1), George Kambosos Jnr (20-2) and Frank Martin.

Tagoe is currently in Ghana and on a training regimen which will be intensified once a full confirmation is done for his next big day.

The Ghanaian won the IBO lightweight title in December 2016 after a Unanimous win against South Africa’s Mzonke Fana and defended it once to Fernando Saucedo before vacating it in 2018.

SourceNathaniel Attoh

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