THE stakes will be high on Saturday for Isaac Dogboe when he fights Adam Lopez in a bout that could salvage his career.
The Ghanaian will have his own destiny in his hands in a bout that has the potential of changing his boxing fortunes.
After ups and downs which led to his WBO title loss, the featherweight boxer has a realistic chance of bouncing back against the American Lopez.
To Dogboe’s career, a defeat could do more harm to his resurgence than good and only a win will put him back into world title contention.
The hard-hitting fighter from the Volta Region became famous with his slogan ‘Neho’ which means to uproot. That was sold out as his trademark until he painfully lost his title to Emanuel Navarrete in December 2018.
If Dogboe wants to revive his career and become a two-time world champion, then he must ‘Neho’ Lopez on Saturday night.
That may not come easy but he has no other choice knowing exactly what this fight represents.
The bout promises to be an interesting one in the careers of both fighters. While Dogboe looks to return to the pinnacle of the sport with a win, Lopez is seeking a maiden world championship shot with a win.
Lopez holds the NABF featherweight belt which would be on the line when he meets Dogboe in Las Vegas.
Having recovered from his knockout defeat to Oscar Valdez in November 2019, Lopez has won two majority decisions over Luis Coria and Jason Sanchez with Dogboe’s bout a stepping stone to greatness.
However, he faces a stern opposition from a wounded Dogboe whose first return to the ring after his defeats to Navarrete was a knockout win over Chris Avalos.
The bout could certainly steal the show on the night of Naoya Inoue’s title defence against Michael Dasmarinas with both fighters keen on an emphatic win.
Dogboe will be favourite going into the bout with his world titlist status, as well as three world championship appearances but Lopez will be equally ready to the task.
What next for Dogboe
Going forward after a win over Lopez will be crucial in Dogboe becoming a two-time world champion. There are numerous options to explore but there could be a stumbling block in Navarrete.
The Mexican currently holds the WBO featherweight belt having moved up in weight from super bantamweight where he dethroned Dogboe to become champion.
Should Dogboe beat Lopez, he could land a shot at Navarrete’s title but is the Ghanaian ready to face off with the Mexican for the third time?
Navarrete ended Dogboe’s invincibility in the ring in December 2018 by snatching his WBO super bantamweight crown. Four months later, he repeated another battering to defend his title against the Ghanaian in a rematch.
Dogboe complained of weight issues and moved up in weight where he feels would be right to face Navarrete should the opportunity avail itself.
However, many are not convinced Dogboe can beat Navarrete at any division considering his height, reach and punching power advantage.
Last month, former IBF welterweight champion, Joshua Clottey, told me that his compatriot must avoid a third meeting with the Mexican by challenging other winners.
I am tempted to side with that advise and think Dogboe should avoid Navarrete but the stage could be set for a revenge and Dogboe might want to take it.
Whatever decision he takes after the Lopez fight, I believe his trainers Patrice Harris and Barry Hunter will be crucial in getting the best for him.