Isaac Dogboe returns to BoxNation on Saturday night when he makes the second defence of his WBO Super-Bantamweight Title against Mexican puncher Emmanuel Navarrete.

Dogboe, 24, won the belt in April when he knocked out Jesse Magdaleno in the 11th round of an upset win against the much-hyped Champion.

Just over three months ago, Japanese challenger Hidenori Otake was blown away inside a round in another powerhouse performance on the Channel of Champions.

The African continent has produced a stack of all-time greats and London-based Ghanaian Dogboe is tipped to join the star-studded list.

BoxNation’s Steve Lillis tells us his six favourite African boxers.

1: AZUMAH NELSON

39-6-2, 28 KOs (Ghana)

Dogboe and Nelson

The greatest and most popular African boxer ever, and how ironic that he champions and mentors Dogboe when the youngster is in Ghana.

He won World Titles at Featherweight and Super-Featherweight, and was loved in Britain even though he brutally knocked out Pat Cowdell and Jim McDonnell when he boxed here.

Few will forget his fights against Aussie Jeff Fenech in 1991 and 1992. Many thought Fenech was unlucky to only get a draw in their first fight, but when the Ghanaian went Down Under for the rematch that he won in eight rounds, his sensational victory was voted Ring Magazine’s Upset of the Year.

They met again in 2008 when they were ancient and Fenech won a majority decision.

2: DICK TIGER

60-19-3, 27 KOs (Nigeria)

Dick Tiger

[Image credit: TigerBoxingGym]

Tiger, who spent time during the 1950s based in Liverpool, won World Titles at Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight in the 1960s.

He won the WBA World Middleweight Title in 1962 when he started campaigning in the United States with a 15-round decision over Gene Fullmer and then drew and beat the American again in subsequent defences.

Joe Giardello ended his reign in 1962, but Tiger regained that title from his rival in 1965 before losing it to Emile Griffith the following year.

In 1966 he claimed the WBC and WBA Light-Heavyweight Titles against Jose Torres and reigned for 18 months before being knocked out in four by all time great Bob Foster.

3: IKE QUARTEY

37-4-1, 31 KOs (Ghana)

Quartey

Quartey fought the best of his era in the 1990s earning the WBA Welterweight Title and the nickname ‘Bazooka’ in a career that saw 31 of his 37 victims knocked out.

He won his World Title in June 1994 knocking out Belfast based Venezuelan Crisanto Espana, who had won all of his 30 fights.
Quartey made seven defences before losing to Oscar de la Hoya in a WBC Title challenge that reeked of controversy when the split decision was announced.

Like Tyson Fury last weekend, Quartey was dropped twice but many felt he deserved more.

He had six more fights after that setback, winning three but losing on points to high quality operators Fernando Vargas, Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright. The Forrest loss was also debatable.

4: BRIAN MITCHELL

45-1-3, 21 KOs (South Africa)

Mitchell

[Image credit: Golden Gloves]

Highly skilled Mitchell reigned supreme as WBA Super-Featherweight boss from September 1986, making 12 defences and then captured the IBF crown beating Tony Lopez after drawing in their first meeting.

Not many boxers retire saying that they never lost a World Title fight, but Mitchell joins that club. What makes his career even more remarkable is that he defended his World Championship on the road because of South Africa’s apartheid policy at the time.

Mitchell boxed in Britain once. That was in November 1988 when he outpointed Londoner Jim McDonnell.

5: VIC TOWEEL

28-3-1, 14 KOs (South Africa)

Vic Toweel

[Image credit: African Ring]

‘The Benoni Atom’ was unbeaten in his first 26 fights winning national, Commonwealth and World Bantamweight Titles.

He won the World Title in only his 14th fight outpointing Manuel Ortiz over 15 rounds. American Ortiz was having his 119th fight and had been World Champion for three years.

Toweel made successful defences against Britons Danny O’Sullivan, Peter Keenan and Spaniard Luis Romero. Aussie Jimmy Carruthers ended his reign knocking him out inside a round in Johannesburg in November 1952 and won a rematch four months later.

He was South Africa’s first World Champion and reigned in an era when there was just eight divisions and a single Champion in each one.

6: JOHN MUGABI

42-7-1, 39 KOs (Uganda)

Mugabi

‘The Beast’ was a ferocious puncher who spent much of his time in London and until a few years ago was still seen down at the Peacock Gym.

Mugabi was promoted by Mickey Duff, but boxed just a handful of times in Britain. He won his first 25 bouts, but was then knocked out in 11 rounds by Marvin Hagler in a IBF, WBA and WBC Middleweight Title fight. It is one of the great boxing clashes that doesn’t get enough credit.

Mugabi did manage to win a World Title after losing to Hagler when he stopped Frenchman Rene Jacquot inside a round to become WBC Super-Welterweight Champion in July 1989, but was beaten in just 167 seconds by Terry Norris in his first defence. There were also quick losses against Duane Thomas and Gerald McClellan.

His career was exciting and one to be proud of, but one cannot help thinking more could have been achieved.

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