Ghana’s Isaac Dogboe fell short in his attempt to become a two-division world champion, losing the WBO Featherweight world title fight to Cuban Robeisy Ramirez.
Dogboe was never in control of the fight after being rocked by Ramirez in the early rounds before the Cuban dictated the tempo of a highly competitive fight in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early hours of Sunday.
After 12 rounds of gruelling action, the judges were unanimous in their decision, scoring it 117-110, 118-109, 119-108 all in favour of the Cuban, who claimed the vacant WBO featherweight title.
The first sign of a long night in store for Dogboe came midway through round two. Ramirez landed a left hand around the high and tight guard of Dogboe, later followed by a left uppercut at close quarters. Dogboe was visibly affected by the shot, missing wildly with a reactionary right hand after which he wisely clinched to avoid further punishment.
Ramirez added to his lead in the proverbial championship rounds. Dogboe stood directly in front of the taller Ramirez, who slammed home a one-two down the middle. Dogboe remained upright, though it wasn’t the case in the twelfth and final round. A left hand by Ramirez produced the bout’s lone knockdown, which came at a point when he was seemingly well ahead on the scorecards.
Dogboe was forced to show mettle as the fight was badly out of reach. Ramirez landed a head-snapping left hand as he slickly dodged Dogboe’s power shots as the bout trickled toward the finish line.
Dogboe fell to 24-3 (15KOs) with the loss, his first since moving up to featherweight on the other side of the pandemic. All three defeats have come at the title level, though his past three wins all came down to majority or split decisions versus fringe contenders.
The charismatic Ghanaian has yet to recapture the magic that came with his brief yet explosive WBO junior featherweight title run. It remains to be seen where his career heads beyond Saturday evening, though there is concern that he has hit his ceiling at featherweight.
— Ferdinand A Baah