The stage is set for Ghanaian boxer, Jesse Manyo Plange, to face the biggest night of his career as he steps into the ring to challenge Michael Dasmarinas for the IBO bantamweight title in Singapore today.
It is a night of destiny for the Ghanaian who has the finest opportunity of his career to join an elite group of compatriots who held world boxing titles during their careers.
Until Isaac Dogboe made the country proud by toppling Jesse Magdaleno to grab the WBO super bantamweight title in April, Emmanuel ‘Gameboy’ Tagoe was the only Ghanaian who held a world title, albeit the less celebrated IBO lightweight tile. The youngster followed the path previously walked by illustrious predecessors such as David Kotei (D.K. Poison), Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Alfred Kotey, Joshua Clottey and Joseph Agbeko.
Later today, 30-year-old Plange will seek to capture the nation’s attention in his quest to dethrone the younger Filipino, 26, whose experience and ring record of 28 wins and two losses in 30 bouts dwarfs Plange’s record of 17 victories in as many fights.
Known as ‘Hot and Spicey’, Dasmarinas, a southpaw, has comparatively an advantage due to his longer reach and that could explain the Filipino’s impressive 19 career knockouts (63 per cent rate), while the challenger has a more frightening record of 17 knockouts in 19 bouts (88 per cent ) with only two travelling the full distance.
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Plange may lack experience fighting outside his comfort zone, having achieved all his successes within Ghana and will now be battling not only the champion, but also a vociferous home crowd at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.
Before his departure, the Ghanaian promised not to return empty handed, with his trainer, Daniel Lartekwei Lartey, sending a strong signal to the champion to be ready to relinquish the title today.
Ghanaians will be expecting Plange to live up to his pre-fight promise to offer his best to ensure victory over the champion.