By David Finger
Well boxing fans, it’s official. Ghana is back, and it is back with a vengeance. Undefeated WBO Africa Featherweight champion Isaac Dogboe successfully defended his title while adding the WBO Oriental Featherweight title and the WBC Youth Featherweight title with a gritty 12-round unanimous decision over WBO #15 ranked contender Neil John Tabanao Friday night at the Police Officer’s Social and Fitness Centre in Accra, Ghana in front of a packed house. For Dogboe it was his first major test against a world class contender and the popular local boxer passed with flying colors.
The fight was a competitive, back and forth war highlighted by Dogboe’s defensive prowess and Tabanao’s gritty toughness and aggression. But Dogboe’s slick defense was also complemented with effective counterpunching and a solid body attack that ultimately proved more than the Filipino could handle. Dogboe faced adversity in round five when he injured his left hand after throwing a left hook but persevered and remained effective in with his left jab. Still, there was little question that the injured hand did hamper his punching power in the later rounds. There were no knockdowns in the twelve round fight and the decision was unanimous with Dogboe winning by scores of 120-109, 117-113, and 119-110.
The fight was televised and streamed live on Ghana TV, giving fans outside of Africa the opportunity to see one of the hottest young prospects in the featherweight division in action. With the win, the 21-year old Dogboe improves to 15-0, 9 KOs and looks ready to take on WBO Featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in the very near future. Tabanao drops to 13-2, 9 KOs.