The shame of losing his WBO super bantamweight title to Emanuel Navarrete last December is what is driving Isaac Dogboe ahead of their rematch, according to the former champion’s father and coach Paul Dogboe.
The popular 24-year-old Ghanaian suffered a disrupted training camp before the first fight, dropping a 12-round points decision at New York’s Madison Square Garden by scores of 113-115 and 112-116 twice.
The duo will square off again in an immediate rematch at the Convention Center in Tuscon, Arizona this Saturday night.
“The loss caused us humiliation in our country – it caused us a lot,” Paul Dogboe told BoxNation. “The warriors back home are asking us, ‘Come on man, you guys are warriors! Why would you go and get beat?’ We were never humiliated before.
“Before, we underestimated Navarrete. Coming from four or five knockouts in a row, we were all thinking, ‘Aw, we’re going to smoke this guy – Navarrete is just another guy and Isaac is going to walk through him.’”
Dogboe insisted they have made the necessary changes to their training camp, including employing dedicated sparring partners designed to bring the best out of his son.
“Things have changed in this camp. We have different sparring this time – Isaac is not sparring with his family,” the elder Dogboe said. “We have a welterweight that he’s sparring with, and we have guys that bring the fight all night like Navarrete. I’ve changed my corner for the fight, too.
“We didn’t have a good training camp before our last fight. We did a lot of appearances – now we’ve lost that. Also, Isaac was in and out of hospital – he wasn’t sick, he was having allergies.
“When you go to hospital, you have to slow training down, you stop training for about six days, 10 days, sometimes two weeks, then you go back. So, everything just messed up from that.
“We had to use sauna to lose the weight, Jacuzzi, steam room. Everything was just messed up. But these things are things you can’t say after the fight. You got beat and you want to blame something, but we were quiet about it.
“Before the last fight, Isaac was going to decide which university he would attend. But we put that off because of the loss – we were not expecting it – so we had to restructure everything again.
“We couldn’t go to a university coming off this loss. We have to redeem ourselves before we go back.”
Dogboe’s star was on the rise ahead of his first fight with Navarrete. After upsetting previously unbeaten Jessie Magdaleno in 11 rounds a year ago, Dogboe blew away Japanese challenger Hidenoro Otake in the opening round.
Dogboe Sr is confident his son can regain his previous form.
“A reborn Isaac Dogboe has to be strong. Even though we were in hospital, we still had confidence that we were going to knock this guy out,” Dogboe Sr said.
“But then I knew Isaac wasn’t fit. I thought he could use his skill to beat this guy, to knock Navarrete out.
“This fight is going to be different. Isaac will definitely be 100 per-cent for this fight. Now we know who Navarrete is – before, we didn’t.
“A fully fit Isaac Dogboe is dangerous. Navarrete is going to be in real trouble.”