FEATURE: Holding the fort for Ghana boxing in recent times

FEATURE: Holding the fort for Ghana boxing in recent times

It’s been five years since Isaac ‘Royal Storm’ Dogboe and Richard Commey took over the mantle to put Ghana boxing back to where it deserves.

The duo have continuously dominated the boxing space for the country internationally and are at it again in the coming weeks.

While Commey is gearing for an opportunity to land a world title shot on March 25 in Fresno, California, Dogboe could become a two-division champion if he beats Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez on April 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In both fights, the odds are against the two biggest boxing imports from Ghana but they have been there before to turn around things.

It took Ghana 10 years to produce another world champion after Joshua Clottey when Dogboe defied all odds to dethrone Jessie Magdaleno in April 2018.

That was indeed a long time for a boxing-loving nation but it showed how poor the country’s nurturing of boxers had become over the years.

However, Commey roared a year later to add his name to Ghana’s rich boxing history when he destroyed Russia’s Issa Chaniev to become a champion.

Together, Dogboe and Commey have fought some of the best boxers in their divisions and are not showing signs of stopping soon.

Dogboe’s resurgence

The 28-year-old failed to reign as WBO super bantamweight titlist for long and lost the belt to the dangerous Mexican brawler Emanuel Navarrete eight months later.

Dogboe’s defeat was unexpected and negatively affected the rise of the young fighter whose dream of unifying the 122 pounds division was cut short.

The Ghanaian returned back home to??? Anyako, Keta???? to commence preparation towards a rematch with Navarette but lost consecutively to the Mexican in his attempt to reclaim his title.

The consecutive defeats were seen by many as a blemish which could end the young boxer’s bright career but Dogboe was resilient.

Dogboe made changes in his technical team by ditching his father and trainer Paul Dogboe and went in for Patrice Harris and Barry Hunter --- two of the best trainers in the United States --- to lead his redemption.

The changes have worked in the boxer’s favour with four wins in as many bouts since his comeback a year after those two painful career defeats.

Wins over Chris Avalos, Adam Lopez, Christopher Diaz, and Joet Gonzalez have landed Dogboe another shot at winning a world title but that is not going to come easy for the Ghanaian.

Dogboe comes up against an equally good opponent in Ramirez who has won two Olympic gold medals at the amateur ranks.

Since turning pro in 2019, Ramirez is making his debut at a world championship as against Dogboe --- who has fought at that level on four occasions.

This is going to be key in ensuring who reigns supreme at the end of the bout but it is indeed going to be a thriller on April 1.


Commey’s day of destiny

At 36 years, Commey could be said to be nearing retirement, and missing out on an opportunity like this against Jose Ramirez could be detrimental to his career.

The WBC light welterweight championship eliminator against Ramirez could end up as the final opportunity for Commey to realise his dream at the top of the sport.

He must not fail if he wants to be regarded as one of the forces to reckon with in the fistic sport. The only way to achieve that is by recording a resounding victory against the former unified 140 pounds champion.

Commey’s career has deteriorated in the last three years with just a win in his last four bouts. He has managed just a win and a draw with two defeats in those four outings.

Commey’s decline commenced after that explosive defeat to America’s Teofimo Lopez in 2019 in which he lost his IBF lightweight crown in the process.

Since that defeat, the Bukom-born fighter came back stronger by destroying Jackson Marinez but failed to go past Ukrainian boxing great Vasyl Lomachenko.

Commey moved up in weight to face Jose Pedraza at super lightweight but ended the bout in a split draw. On March 25, he has a perfect chance to get close to another world title if he can go past Ramirez --- an opponent looking to revive his career after an undisputed super lightweight championship loss to Josh Taylor in 2021.

Richard Commey



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