Former IBF world welterweight champion Joshua Clottey says Isaac Dogboe must refine his defense if he expects to become champion once again.
Dogboe, the former WBO world super bantamweight champion, took on Adam Lopez last Saturday in a 10-round featherweight bout in Las Vegas. Dogboe controlled much of the first half of the bout but struggled down stretch, eating plenty of punches yet holding on to win a majority decision.
According to Clottey, a Ghanaian just like Dogboe, the latter’s fighting style and diminutive size makes him susceptible to shots when he’s on the attack. While Clottey lauds Dogboe’s offensive arsenal, he believes the other side of the coin must improve in order for Dogboe to become a two-time world champion.
“He has everything in boxing but the only thing he is lacking at the moment is a good defensive work,” Clottey told Graphic Sports. “I watched how he struggled under pressure from Lopez, and that isn’t a good thing to do against opponents like that.
“You need a good defensive work to avoid too many punches from landing, and that is the only way to beat tougher opponents because they are always ready to fight back.”
The 26-year-old Dogboe (22-2, 15 KOs) is on the comeback trail since losing his title via wide unanimous decision to Emanuel Navarrete in December 2018. The two met again in May 2019. This time, Navarrete stopped Dogboe in the 12th.
Dogboe returned in August 2020 with an impressive stoppage victory over Chris Avalos. The Lopez win was his second in a row. Cards read 97-93, 96-94 and 95-95.
“I was pretty confident I’d get that decision because I controlled the fight for the first six rounds. I was posing too much and got a little too careless,” said Dogboe regarding his performance.
“Every now and then, I stayed in the pocket a little too long and forced too much. But, listen, Adam is a great guy. He showed the pedigree. We promised it would be a firefight. It takes two to tango.
“A lot of people wrote me off after those losses to Navarrete, and said I was overhyped. People like me, we don’t stay down forever. We get back up. I have to thank my team. They’re not just trainers, they are family. God wanted me to be there.”