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Sports News of Sunday, 29 April 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Dogboe, the champion who never forgets his roots, his manners, and his God

The first thing he did after the end of the bout was confirmed was to punch the air in victory. The second was to hug his team who barged into the ring.

The third was to check on the man he had just vanquished to become WBO Super Bantamweight champion.

Once Isaac Dogboe (19-0, 13 KOs) was sure that Jessie Magdaleno (19-1, 12 KO), the Mexican-American standing in the way of himself and a place in history, was fine, the celebrations continued.

Dogboe achieved a slew of things in the wee hours of Sunday morning, but none more so than to join a pantheon of greats - and in some style too.

Ring announcer Lupe Contreras congratulated the 23-year-old, then proceeded to pick his brain. "Isaac, how did you come back from being knocked down in the first round to winning like this?"

His God

Once the microphone got to him, we - everyone who has watched his previous bouts - knew what he was going to say. And he did not disappoint. He looked round at the people in the arena, at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, and spoke.

"First of all, I want to thank the almighty God, the God of all creation, the God of Wovernu, the God of ARS [his church] for this victory. I have always said that the battle is not for me. The battle has always been the Lord's..."

It's been a theme of his career. Despite being the only world champion Ghana has produced who did not come from the staple Bukom background, but rather a middle-class Ghanaian with roots also in London, this chap is grounded. He's never forgotten Wovernu, where he hails from, and the Apostle's Revelation Society, his church.



His manners

After doing the thanks for God, rather than answer the question, he continued by paying homage to Magdaleno, a move which drew nods of approval from the commentators and analysts ringside.

"Magdaleno is a great guy. He fought hard and he's a winner. I want to apologize to Jessie and anyone who was offended by some of things said before the bout. And I wish Magdaleno all the best, because at the end of the day he is my brother".

A classy gesture that will, no doubt, temper any more anger being felt by the Mexican community following incendiary remarks by Isaac's father, Paul. The senior Dogboe had said before the bout that Magdaleno was going to be beaten, and thrown over the wall, a reference to the sensitive matter of immigration President Trump has been championing in the last two years.

From his first bout in Ghana to the most recent against Cesar Juarez, the young man has always come across as polite, well-mannered and cultured.

His roots

Ghanaians have taken Dogboe in from the moment he came into the spotlight. There's something refreshing about watching him trying so hard to peel off his very British accent, while trying even harder to clothe himself in his Ghanaianness.

The team behind him have had a tough time selling the young chap because of the usual issues - lack of corporate support for boxing, a personality many have felt is not brash enough, and perhaps his lack of an obvious story about an unbringing of poverty - but now they will take notice.

They should, because on this day, Dogboe became the youngest of the eight major world title holders in the history of this storied sport in Ghana.

"In [my] last fight at home, the Bukom Arena [in Accra] was overflowing. The love for the sport here is deep and I want to be able to give back to them," the boxer said before leaving Ghana. He has achieved that, served notice to the world about his presence.

And, with his ever-present father coaching and egging him on - there's more to come.