By Steve Kim Updated on July 25, 2022

Beware of Dogboe

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Don't look now, but Isaac Dogboe is now back in the title mix as a featherweight. Left for dead after two lopsided losses to Emanuel Navarette as a junior featherweight (where he once held the WBO belt), the boxing buzzards were circling over him ready to pick at his carcass.

At 5'4, it was believed that he was simply too small to be an effective 126, yet unwilling -- or able -- to make the junior featherweight limit any longer. 

He was between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

But under the guidance of Barry Hunter, he has strung together some hard-fought, close victories against the likes of Adam Lopez, Christopher Diaz and now, Joet Gonzalez.

Picture for Beware of DogboeMikey Williams, Top Rank

His most recent win came this past weekend at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota was one that saw him jump out quickly in the early rounds, consistently beating the slow starting Gonzalez to the punch and being the shiftier fighter. But in the middle stanzas Gonzalez got his engine revving and he started to chip away at Dogboe, who looked as though he was fading.

But he had a finishing kick that was just strong enough to earn him a split decision. It was 96-94 across the board with two of them in favor of Dogboe, who won the 10th and final round on all three judges cards.

Isaac Dogboe & Joet Gonzalez Put on Amazing Back & Forth Fight | Dogboe Decision Win | HIGHLIGHTS

“I said to the people that my journey can be a Hollywood blockbuster movie, and I praise God always," said a jubilant Dogboe, who is now in line to face WBC belt-holder, Rey Vargas. 


Picture for Beware of DogboeTop Rank

This has been an unlikely revival, whether he beats Vargas remains to be seen. Vargas has many of the same traits that Navarette does and looks to be a bad style match-up for Dogboe. Regardless, credit has to be given for his perseverance and persistence. And a tip of the hat to trainer, Barry Hunter, who took on this reclamation job and has rebuilt a broken boxer.

It was his words prior to the pivotal 10th round that helped fuel Dogboe's desperate final three minutes where he sealed the victory.

“I’ve always seen {trainer} Barry {Hunter} as a very inspirational person, a father figure," he stated. "He’s a person that when it seems like it’s all gone, he always has something to say to you. I really needed him in my corner. He was able to pull that extra strength in me out."

So yeah, trainers matter.

There is a good segment of observers that believe the hard-luck Gonzalez deserved the win.  But he simply could not overcome the early deficit, and perhaps he would've been better served if this was a 12 round contest. 

Picture for Beware of DogboeTop Rank

“Close fight. I thought I won the fight. I buckled him, I believe, twice in the fight. I stunned him," Gonzalez said. "He didn’t really land too many shots. I landed the cleaner, harder shots. I was pushing him back, and he was holding most of the time. Roughing me and trying to stop me. But I thought I won the fight.”

Once again he lived up to his reputation as a fan-friendly fighter, who makes for good viewing. But unfortunately, his quest for another title shot took a hit. And now, it could be Dogboe, who won this WBC eliminator, who is at the front of the line. 

“Whoever the champions are, they should watch out," stated Dogboe. "The ‘Royal Storm,’ I am back, baby!”


At age 16, Gabe Flores Jr was the youngest boxer ever signed to Top Rank. At 22, his career seems to be over. Flores was conclusively defeated by Giovanni Cabrera in what was a bit of a 'loser-leaves-town' match put together by Top Rank as the co-feature to Dogboe-Gonzalez on Saturday night.

Things went south quickly for Flores who was sent to the canvas from a straight left in the opening seconds, and then knocked down two other times. It was 98-89 across the board from the judges and if his career isn't over, most likely his tenure with Top Rank is.

Giovanni Cabrera Drops Flores Jr. 7 Seconds into fight, Drops him 2 more Times Gets Impressive Win

Last September, Flores was defeated by Luis Lopez over 10 rounds where he took a beating in the late rounds. He struggled mightily to get past Abraham Montoya in March, and this fight with Cabrera was one where got banged up, again. 

Picture for Beware of DogboeMikey Williams for Top Rank

Flores, despite his age, looks like an aged fighter. One who's punch resistance has already eroded, doesn't have much offensive firepower, and not nearly slick enough to overcome those shortcomings. 

This is a tough game, most prospects early on look very good as they are put in fights they are supposed to look good in. That was certainly the case for Flores, but as his opposition was elevated, his flaws became glaringly evident.



Like everybody else in the boxing community, I was stunned and saddened to hear about the passing of Stacey Snyder, who was a photographer that worked out of the Dallas area. She was someone who really loved the sport and its participants.

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For those wondering, I don't know what took place. Personally, I don't think that's important. Snyder is gone much too soon, and she will be missed greatly by everyone that knew her. My condolences to Stacey's family and loved ones. 



Abdullah Mason is just 18, but keep an eye on him. I think he's got a very high ceiling...The Social Gloves event that was supposed to take place at the Crypto.Com Arena this upcoming Saturday, which featured a bunch of Youtubers, and a bout between former NFL running backs, Adrien Peterson and Le'Veon Bell has been post-poned to a later date...Jousce Gonzalez, the brother of Joet, headlines 'Golden Boy Fight Night' this Thursday night on DAZN from the Fantasy Springs Casino...I can be reached at



About Author
Beware of Dogboe
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.