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Diminutive Isaac Dogboe of Ghana knocked out his Mexican opponent, Cesar Juarez in the fifth of their scheduled 12 round bout to win the WBO Interim Super Bantamweight title.

The decisive moment came with just about a minute left of the fifth round as a hefty left hook from Dogboe connected to Juarez’s jaw, splattering sweat out of his hair and spinning him off balance before dropping him onto the canvas at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra Saturday night.

Though the tough-talking Juarez wobbled to his feet as blood streamed from his nostrils, Referee Tony Weeks was convinced the fight needed not travel any longer, embracing the dazed Juarez and signalling it was all over.

Dogboe, 23, who also goes by the name Royal Storm, now with 18 wins in as many fights, wasted no time to serve WBO titleholder Jessie Magdaleno the notice, “I’m coming for you baby”. In the stands, it was all jubilation as the partisan Ghanaian fans giggled and wiggled to drumbeats.

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A TV screenshot of the final moments of the fight as Juarez lands awkwardly on the canvas

With both boxers predicting a knockout, they got the fight to a whirlwind start, exchanging a flurry of punches when Weeks signalled them into action at about 11:15 pm. Dogboe appeared to dominate, however.

The blistering pace sharply slowed in the second round, but a straight left to the face midway into the round dropped Juarez for the mandatory count, before he returned to dish out his own impressive flurries that seemed to redefine the fight as a real deal, especially as Dogboe slowed down with the Mexican stalking all the time.

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A disappointed Juarez gets attention from his team

The 3rd Round was evenly contested with both fighters throwing flurries, but a pattern was emerging as Juarez, in pursuit of his target, often left his face exposed, allowing the Ghanaian to punch as accurately as he desired. Frustrated, Juarez was swinging wild shots whose purpose looked simply to get Dogbe into a corner. He ended up with a bleeding nose.

Then came Round 4, and as the trend continued with Dogbe slowing down and proving more efficient with his blows as Juarez continued the stalking, it was the Ghanaian who connected an uppercut on the stroke of the bell to win the round.

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Round 5 was furious. The two fighters packed a lot of power in their punches, but Juarez was missing more of his shots and leaving his face exposed. He was to receive a verbal caution not to clutch at Dogbe’s head, but before long he took that mighty shot that took the steam out of his legs as he backpedalled and dropped on his pants.

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