Quite a statement was made by Isaac Dogboe in his stopping Cesar Juarez in five rounds Saturday evening in his native Accra, Ghana. The unbeaten super bantamweight titlist scored two knockdowns, a left hook the weapon of choice in sending Juarez to the canvas in rounds two and five.
The latter knockdown left the visiting challenger from Mexico momentarily dazed as he attempted to beat the count. His reaction prompted Weeks to bring an immediate halt to the contest, much to the delight of the rabid capacity crowd on hand for the interim title fight.
It also prompted resentment from Juarez—who immediately protested the verdict—and his handlers, whom were far more vocal and thorough in the displeasure over the fight's ending.
"I take it Tony Weeks never saw a Cesar Juarez fight," adviser Sean Gibbons exclaimed to FightNights.com via text message. "One or two trips to the canvas is not unusual for Juarez, especially in a fight of this magnitude."
Juarez (20-6, 15KOs) gained notoriety and a cult following among North American boxing fans during a 2015 campaign that saw upset wins over Cesar Seda and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr., leading to a Fight of the Year-level slugfest with Nonito Donaire in their Dec. '15 title fight. Juarez survived two knockdowns to turn a developing Donaire rout into a walk through hell for the four-division world champion, only to come up short on the final scorecards in the end.
A subsequent loss to Giovanni Delgado left boxing pundits to speculate if the Donaire war took a little extra out of him, but Juarez has since scored three wins—including an upset knockout win over previously unbeaten Albert Pagara in July '16, in which he overcame an opening round knockdown—to earn a title shot versus Jessie Magdaleno. Their planned showdown last November was canceled after the reigning super bantamweight titlist suffered an injury, paving the way for Juarez to face Dogboe for an interim version of the crown, wuth the winner guaranteed a crack at the unbeaten Las Vegas native.
In essence, Juarez has now twice lost out on the opportunity to get Magdaleno in the ring. The second time around hasn't gone down quite as smooth—apparently what Weeks thought as well in stopping the fight of the belief that Juarez was past the point of no return following the 5th round knockdown.
"Cesar got buzzed on the temple with a clean left hook. He got up immediately and took a little wobble but was looking at Tony for the count the whole time he was clear and ready to go," insists Gibbons. "Tony blew it; he should have giving Cesar the mandatory eight Count and ask him to walk to him.
"I mean, this is the same guy who did (the May '05 all-time classic between Diego) Corrales (and Jose Luis) Castillo. Just think how history plays out if he stopped Diego from fighting the way he denied Juarez another chance. Cesar was recovered at four and ready to go; he felt that he would hit his stride by round seven on and he was grinding Dogboe down."
A protest is expected to be filed with the World Boxing Organization by the Juarez camp.