A Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion, Joshua Clottey, has advised Isaac Dogboe to work hard on his defensive abilities as he aims to recapture the world title. He says Dogboe's fighting stlye would make him struggle against tough opponents unless he makes immediate improvement on his ring craft to adapt to different fight styles.
Clottey noted that the only thing left for Dogboe to become a two-time world champion was to work on his defence since that was an essential tool in succeeding at the highest level.
Dogboe's defensive ability was again tested against Adam Lopez last Saturday, having been previously exposed twice by Mexican Emanuel Navarrete who in December 2018 ended the Ghanaian's short reign as a world champion. He lost two consecutive bouts to Navarrete and earned a majority points victory over Lopez last Saturday in Las Vegas.
In an interview with the Graphic Sports, Clottey, who fought greats like Manny Pacquiao, Zab Judah and Antonio Margarito during his heyday, said Dogboe’s style of fighting -- wearing down opponents with body shots before applying for killer punches -- was similar to his [Clottey’s] and that such a style required a lot of defensive work to survive and win against tough opponents.
Clottey explained that Dogboe must avoid receiving too many punches by adopting a good defensive strategy to avoid running away from opponents whenever he was under pressure.
“He has everything in boxing but the only thing he is lacking at the moment is a good defensive work,” said Clottey.
“I watched how he struggled under pressure from Lopez, and that isn’t a good thing to do against opponents like that.
“You need a good defensive work to avoid too many punches from landing, and that is the only way to beat tougher opponents because they are always ready to fight back.”
Dogboe, 26, came out strong with a 97-93, 96-94 and 95-95 on the judges’ scorecards having started the bout on a bright note.
Lopez, however, fought back to close down the bout but the Ghanaian managed to hold on to a narrow win to mark a second straight comeback win.
Commenting on the bout, Dogboe said he deserved the victory decision because he controlled the bout in the opening six rounds before getting too careless in the later stages of the fight.
“I was pretty confident I’d get that decision because I controlled the fight for the first six rounds. I was posing too much and got a little too careless.
“Every now and then, I stayed in the pocket a little too long and forced too much. But, listen, Adam is a great guy.
He showed the pedigree. We promised it would be a firefight. It takes two to tango.
“A lot of people wrote me off after those losses to Navarrete, and said I was overhyped. People like me, we don’t stay down forever. We get back up. I have to thank my team. They’re not just trainers, they are family. God wanted me to be there,” said Dogboe, who has won his last two fights as a featherweight since his second loss to Navarrete (currently the WBO featherweight champion) in November 2019.