On this day on May 11th, Emanuel Navarrete at the mere age of 24 years old defeated Isaac Dogboe for the second time in his career, to retain the WBO super bantamweight world title he had won from Dogboe in December of the previous year.
Dogboe looked to be an emerging star for Top Rank Inc., as he had defeated Jessie Magdaleno to win the world title, and had developed a cult following around his chanting of the word “neho” prior to his fight and especially at weigh-ins. Heading into the first fight, Navarrete was a rather unheralded fighter with one loss to his record, and the odds for the bout showed in the build-up as Navarrete was a +500 underdog, and Dogboe was a -800 favorite. Navarrete would outbox Dogboe in the first fight setting the stage for a grudge match, set in May in Tucson, Arizona.
Though on paper Navarette’s listed height five feet, seven inches, compared to Dogboe’s of five feet, two inches, doesn’t seem massive - it was. In both fights, the height and physical advantages in terms of reach and size were too much for the willpower of Dogboe to overcome.
The second fight saw Navarrete cement his place as one of the best as he dominated the fight up until the stoppage of Dogboe in the twelfth and final round. Navarrete outlanded Dogboe 314 punches to 121, which is roughly two-and-a-half more landed strikes. This was also the last time Dogboe’s father served as the lead voice in his corner, as his father, threw the towel in the twelfth round ending the contest. Dogboe would rebuild his career after this fight in Washington D.C. with Barry Hunter.
This was the moment that Navarrete went from being an obscure fighter who pulled off an upset for a world title to become the face of the division.
Navarrete after this fight.
In total, Navarrete would make five world title defenses at super bantamweight and be one of the most dominant champions of the modern era. After the pandemic, Navarrete fought Ruben Villa IV, a rival of Shakur Stevenson’s in the amateurs, as two knockdowns scored by Navarrete proved the difference for Navarrete to earn the vacant WBO featherweight world title.
Navarrete would three defenses of his WBO featherweight title before moving up and becoming the WBO super featherweight world champion when he survived being knocked down from Liam Wilson early in the fight to rally back and stop Wilson in the ninth round.
Navarrete is a three-division world champion, but also one who is moving up rather quickly through weight classes, possibly on lifestyle choices over what is best for his career. His last two performances against Liam Wilson and Eduardo Baez have been his most unremarkable from his most recent run.
Dogboe after this fight
The aura was gone. When Dogboe beat Jessie Magdaleno he looked like an unlikely star, but after one title defense, Navarrete stole his moment and spot in the sport.
Dogboe would rebuild with Barry Hunter in Washington D.C., stopping Chris Avalos, as well as getting majority decision wins over Adam Lopez, and Christopher Diaz. His biggest win in recent memory was a split-decision win over Joet Gonzalez in Minnesota last summer.
This run got Dogboe in contention for a world title in his new weight class the featherweight division. Isaac Dogboe would lose to Robeisy Ramirez on April 1st, as the two competed for the vacant WBO featherweight title.
Since his loss to Navarrete, the excitement around his career hasn’t been the same.