BoxingAfrica.com caught up with Isaac Dogboe and father/trainer Paul Dogboe as they prepare to take on WBO world super bantamweight champion Jessie Magdaleno tomorrow, April 28th, at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, live on ESPN. Check out what they had to say!
Welcome back to the U.S. How have you adjusted to Philadelphia?
ISAAC: We are well acclimatized. We’ve been here for two, three weeks now. Camp has been great. There have been no issues. No injuries, and that’s the only thing we watch out for. I’m stronger than ever. We had a normal six-week camp. But we’re always training. So, we taper down about two weeks from the fight.
PAUL: Isaac is an all-rounder. We have active rest, where he’s resting but still training. No long runs or anything but still working. Isaac just gets better with each camp and he’s always training. We trained a bit in Ghana first. We have strength and conditioning that we do by the beach, so we love doing that. Then we go to the UK, we go to Miguel’s Boxing Gym – we love training there. And then we come to the States and do the mountains as well.
Has it been difficult to get sparring with someone who can mimic Magdaleno’s southpaw style?
PAUL: It’s been very difficult. But we always adapt to the situation. I turn southpaw to do the mitt work with southpaw. His sparring partners were southpaws and were able to turn southpaws. But I don’t allow my boxer to engage in heavy sparring sessions before a major fight. It’s not something I’ve done in Isaac’s career.
How does that help a fighter?
PAUL: Well, it helps him mentally and physically. Our regimes are strong. The training that we do is vigorous. I just don’t like taking head shots a lot during sparring. The human brain isn’t made to take too many head shots. You can’t expect to take a bunch of head shots in sparring and think you are coming into the big fight refreshed. No way.
You sparred with Magdaleno when you were only 4-0. What do you recall about those session?
ISAAC: Those were tough, hard sessions. We stood in the middle of the ring, toe-to-toe, nobody going back. I think Jessie was about 20-0. His trainer called it off and said, “no, no. This is like a world title fight.” (laughs).
PAUL: They know what is coming. They know Isaac is a hungry kid.
What do you think are your advantages in this fight?
PAUL: When you look at Isaac’s conditioning, there is no way Jessie can walk through Isaac. Isaac’s conditioning is crazy for this fight. I really conditioned him this camp. We intend to weaken Magdaleno. We know he’s got speed, but when those power shots start landing, he will slow down.
In your last fight against Cesar Juarez, you guys got off to a fast start. Will you try to do something similar here?
ISAAC: No, it’s not going to be like that. Every fight has its own challenges. We can’t reveal our strategy, but Juarez is a slow starter. When the rounds go on, he charges up. So, we had to stay on him and get him out of there. So, we have our own gameplan for Magdaleno.
You’re the main event on ESPN, fighting for a world title under his promoter, Top Rank Promotions. Do you feel any pressure to KO him or win convincingly?
ISAAC: All I can say is, we don’t feel pressure. We love what we are doing. This is what I want. I have been praying for this since I began boxing, to become a world champion. Now, the Lord himself has given us manna from heaven, so we seize it. We are praying to God that he makes a way and gives us that favor. The youngest boxing champion in Africa.
I am not concerned about the scorecards. Top Rank is a professional company. They know I have the potential. I’m unbeaten. So, I don’t think they will do anything of that sort. We pray to God for ourselves and also our opponents. If you cheat, the Lord will let you knock you out early. We are very prayerful, and we have prayer warriors praying for us. We are straight, upright people.
PAUL: We have brought people to Ghana to fight. We have given them five-star hotels, Mercedes-Benz to drive in, the best of the best. This is how we treat them. You can ask Cesar Juarez, Javier Chacon, Neil John Tabanao, all of them. We give them five-star treatment. Now if I come to your territory and you don’t treat me the same, we don’t really mind because we have a caveman mentality. We just have to pray to our God and tell my God, when they come to us, we treat them well, so why would we deserve that treatment in return? I don’t think Top Rank will do that. They love my son too as well. And we have a lot of fans in the U.S. Isaac is a sweet kid. We are comfortable here and fearless.
We are going to shake up the division. Jessie Magdaleno has had the title, but there hasn’t been any excitement in the division. Isaac will do that. And then we plan to continue to move up, maybe as many as five weight classes. Isaac is still only 23. He will continue to grow and get better.
You’re hours away from the biggest fight of your career, your dream. What is your mindset right now?
ISAAC: We do our best to stay humble. Right now, I am calm. We are preparing for war. We are going to take the fight to him and knock him out. We know he’s going to move. Right now, he’s talking tough, but he won’t stand and trade with me. So, we are ready for what he brings. We have put the work in so now it’s about going out and performing.
PAUL: The fans are tired of people running. They pay a lot of money to come and see you fight, not to run around like a headless chicken. So, we are going to deliver on our end. Isaac will knock Magdaleno out. I can’t tell you when, I’m sworn to secrecy (laughs).
Do you have anything in closing you’d like to say to your fans?
ISAAC: On behalf of myself, my father, and Rising Star Promotions, we want to thank everybody that has come in contact with us and helped us spiritually, financially and mentally. We thank the Almighty God for giving us this strength. And we thank everybody that has supported us. From California to Philadelphia to Harrisburg to England to Ghana to the whole of Africa. God bless you all. We want to change the face of boxing. And make boxing great again. We will make this a hot division and then move up and shake the featherweight division. We will not let you down.