Two men looking to get back into world title contention clash at the top of a Top Rank bill this Saturday night at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota, as former two-time world title challenger, Joet Gonzalez defends his WBO International featherweight title against former super bantamweight world champion, Isaac Dogboe over ten rounds.
Sky Sports televise Gonzalez vs Dogboe in the UK, while ESPN+ have the US rights for the fight, which is also a WBC eliminator for Rey Vargas’ belt.
Gonzalez (25-2, 15 KOs) has been soundly outscored on both occasions he has challenged for world honours. The Californian was widely defeated by Shakur Stevenson for the WBO featherweight title in October 2019, and then lost to the Emanuel Navarrete last October.
The 28-year-old was last out in March, stopping Joe Santisima in nine rounds to take the strap that he defends this weekend.
Dogboe (23-2, 15 KOs) made a solid unbeaten start to his professional career, boxing in his country of birth Ghana, the USA and Australia, and after taking the interim version of the WBO super bantamweight title with a fifth round stoppage of Cesar Juarez in Accra in January 2018, he won the full version of the belt three months later, getting off the canvas to knock out Jesse Magdaleno in eleven.
A one round defence against Hidenori Otake followed, but he would lose his belt by the end of the year, outscored by the aforementioned Navarrete, and was then stopped in the final round of a rematch.
That prompted a move up in weight, and ‘Royal Storm’ has won three on the spin, with his last two have been majority verdicts over ten rounds.
The 27-year-old’s last victory was over Christopher Diaz on the undercard of Terence Crawford’s win over Shawn Porter in November.
Prediction: Dogboe has looked laboured at his new weight, but it looks like he is awaiting a sterner test in the division. He should get that here against Gonzalez, but I fancy Dogboe to prevail by a close points victory.
Flores Jr clashes with Cabrera
Chief support comes at lightweight, where Gabriel Flores Jr meets the unbeaten Giovanni Cabrera over a scheduled ten rounds.
Flores (21-1, 7 KOs) has won once since his sole pro defeat, a landslide points reverse in September 2021 against Luis Alberto Lopez, but returned in March to take a majority nod over Abraham Montoya.
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Prediction: Cabrera (20-0, 7 KOs) has been ten rounds twice, but I favour Flores to take a decision win.
There are no less than four heavyweight bouts on the bill.
Over a scheduled eight, Guido Vianello (8-0-1, 8 KOs) should take another early win against Rafael Rios (11-3, 8 KOs), and in four round attractions, Antonio Mireles (3-0, 3 KOs) should do the same against Dennys Reyes (3-2, 1 KO).
Anthony Garrett (1-1, 1 KO) can take a points victory over Cayman Audie (1-1, 1 KO), and Colton Warner (4-1, 3 KOs), who stopped Garrett in a round last time out, should take care of James Barnes (1-2, 1 KO) inside schedule.
In a six rounder at middleweight, Javier Martinez (6-0, 2 KOs) should take a win on the cards against Pachino Hill (7-0-1, 6 KOs), and also at middleweight, Antonio Woods (10-0, 8 KOs), can remain unbeaten and halt Darryl Jones (4-4-1, 2 KOs).
In the remaining four round contests, Dante Benjamin (2-0, 1 KO) can win the battle of unbeaten fighters at light heavyweight against Corey Thompson (4-0, 3 KOs), and at super featherweight, Abdullah Mason (2-0, 2 KOs) can win early against Luis Fernandez (1-3-1).