Mike Altamura: ‘Isaac Dogboe brings the heart of a lion, the heart of a warrior, to the ring’
Accra, Ghana’s Isaac Dogboe, 19-0 (13), defeated Jessie Magdaleno, 25-1 (18), in Philadelphia, last Saturday night to capture the WBO world junior featherweight title.
Dogboe and Magdaleno engaged in a thrilling, back-and-forth war that fans would gladly watch again, should promoters decide to go the rematch route. Both fighters had their moments; both fighters took trips to the canvas and both fighters showed heart and determination.
However in the end, a fiercely determined Dogboe, working behind a relentless body attack, wore Magdaleno down and stopped him in the 11th round.
Magdaleno came out strong early and dropped Dogboe with a hard shot in the first round. This was no off-balance tumble to the canvas; Dogboe was hurt. But he got up and grinded his way back into the fight over the next few rounds.
In the fifth round, Dogboe nailed Magdaleno with a vicious counter shot that saw the Las Vegas native take his first of three trips to the deck. As the fight wore on, Dogboe had his foot on the gas all night, wearing Magdaleno down with a vicious body assault that eventually would see him dropped twice in the 11th frame before referee Benji Esteves Jr. stepped in to halt the punishment.
Africa’s fast-rising boxing star was the new champion.
In 10 years of boxing, it has been an impressive ride for the English resident Dogboe. An Olympian at 17 and a world champ at 23 – this is impressive stuff.
Australia-based Mike Altamura, one of boxing’s brightest and most well-respected, young managers, caught up with UCNLive.com the morning after the fight. Naturally he was very happy with the outcome and was excited for what is next for his charismatic and exciting, young champion.
“We’ve been saying it for a long time but it was thrilling to see it come to the fore last Saturday night,” said Altamura. “(Dogboe) has true star power in world boxing. He knows the business; he gets the business. He has an unbelievable back story. Dogboe brings the heart of a lion, the heart of a warrior, to the ring.”
However Altamura made it clear that this isn’t just a great story; this is a great fighter.
“He goes to hurt you; he brings a two-fisted assault,” said an enthused Altamura. “I’ve always said he brings the true heart of an African warrior but he has the dexterity of a true artist inside the ropes. Athletes like that need to be exposed to the world. We aren’t just looking at the African market; we want to keep building his brand and his profile in the United States. But we also want to keep building his brand in the United Kingdom because he does reside in Brixton, South London.”
As to where he would like to see Dogboe fight next, clearly Altamura has a few options.
“It would be amazing to bring the first world title defense title back to Accra, Ghana,” said Altamura. “I had a lengthy chat with my good friend, the legendary (Top Rank CEO) Mr. Bob Arum at the airport after the fight and he thinks it might be a good idea to bring another fight to the U.S. market, and then look to a hometown fight, perhaps fight later in the year. So I am looking forward to whatever prospects Mr. Arum puts forward, what Mr. Arum has planned. I have done a lot of effective business with Top Rank over the years and we are excited to be working alongside them to be promoting Isaac Dogboe.”
It is clear that Altamura does see Dogboe as a fighter who fans will watch on a regular basis.
“I’ve said earlier that Isaac is committed to wanting to be a fighting champion. So as soon as we can secure a date and find the right setting, he’ll be good to go, sometime around August, I’d say.”