Feature | Aug 25 2018

LONG READ The remarkable rise of Isaac Dogboe

He fulfilled a prophecy and a promise to a king. The unique story of Isaac Dogboe. He defends his title on August 25 in Phoenix, Arizona and here speaks exclusively to John Dennen
Isaac Dogboe
Dogboe_entrance  |  Mickey Williams/Top Rank

ISAAC DOGBOE had faith. In his first world title challenge, in the first round he found himself on the deck with WBO super-bantamweight champion Jessie Magdaleno standing over him. It was the worst possible start.

But Dogboe had a serenity about him. He rose and started over. In the build up to his world title fight, he had been quietly confident and, even now, he was not shaken. “Once all the training is done, a week or two weeks to go, there’s nothing more you can do. All you have to is just go on your knees and pray. That’s played a huge part in my life. In the end it’s God that gives victory. That’s what I believe. I believe it’s God that comes to fight for me. So going into the ring, I had no doubts whatsoever,” he said softly.

On the canvas, enduring a count from the referee, it would have been easy to panic. But Dogboe believed. It had been predicted. In fact, victory had been predicted by his uncle. Three weeks out from the fight, before he went on to Philadelphia for the fight, he had travelled to Ghana, to his family’s hometown. Here he would fast and he would pray. But the intense training as far as he was concerned was effectively finished. This was for his mind. And even his dreams seemed to foretell victory. “We knew we were going to knock him out,” Isaac told Boxing News. “The fight was predicted. You go to sleep, people are having dreams that [say], ‘Look, Isaac has knocked this person out.’ You pray, these sort of things. You see certain signs.