2018 was a year filled with upsets in the boxing world. However, arguably none were bigger than Emanuel Navarrete’s (26-1, 22 KOs) win over Isaac Dogboe (20-1, 14 KOs).
The matchup between the two was supposed to be just a formality. Dogboe would show up on fight night and retain his title in dominating fashion. Navarrete didn’t get the memo and had other plans as he went on to not just win, but do so impressively.
Come May 11, 2019, these two will get a chance to run it back.
Dogboe had been anointed as the next big thing. He frequently made appearances on pound-for-pound lists and was regularly considered the best in his division. It may have been a case of too much, too soon for Dogboe.
Navarrete was never given a chance but, looking back he held many advantages over his championship foe. He was riding a 20-fight win streak coming in to their first matchup. Navarrete also holds the edge in both height and reach. Five and eight inches, respectively.
Quite frankly, there were just too many physical disadvantages for Dogboe to overcome. Instead of opting for a different route, Dogboe wants his title right back.
The former champion burst onto the scene with a 2018 knockout win over Jessie Magdaleno. It was a sensational performance and one that landed Dogboe the WBO Super Bantamweight title. He successfully defended his title one time before suffering his defeat.
Dogboe is in a must-win situation. Another loss would mark the end of his brief star status. Although Navarrete has won an unprecedented 21 fights in a row, he is still relatively unknown.
The newly minted champion could use his physical tools to once again cruise to a decision victory, but Dogboe has shown that he has the power to end any contest before the final bell. Prior to his contest against Navarrete, Dogboe had stopped his past five opponents.
The pressure is squarely on the shoulders of Dogboe, it’s up to him to deliver.
The Emmanuel Navarrete vs. Isaac Dogboe co-featured bout will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:00 pm, ET. The undercard will stream live starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+