Two men who go under the radar in the featherweight division go head to head this weekend as former world title challenger Joet Gonzalez locks horns with former world champion Isaac Dogboe this Saturday in Minnesota as both men look to return to the featherweight world title scenes.
Gonzalez turned pro in 2012 and would get up to 19-0 before challenging for his first title in 2018 when he would defeat Rafael Rivera by a split decision to pick up the vacant WBO NABO featherweight title to enter their rankings. Gonzalez would return to defeat Javier Gallo in a non-title bout before knocking out Rodrigo Guerrero in five rounds to defend his title for the first time and climb higher up the rankings. Gonzalez would next face off with Manuel Avila, this time with the vacant WBO Global and the WBA Continental title on the line. Gonzalez would add these titles to his mantle as he would stop Avila in round six.
Gonzalez would now be at the summit of the WBO rankings and with Oscar Valdez relinquishing the WBO world title to move up in weight, Gonzalez would be mandated to fight for the belt. Gonzalez would square off with one of boxing's brightest talents in Shakur Stevenson. Stevenson would hand Gonzalez his first loss, as Gonzalez was on the losing end of a wide points decision. Gonzalez would jump into a tough fight on his return as he would face the veteran Miguel Marriaga for the WBO Intercontinental title, this would be a test that Gonzalez would pass as he defeated Marriaga on points.
Another shot at the WBO title came next for Gonzalez. Stevenson had vacated to move up in weight, and Emanuel Navarrete now held the belt. Gonzalez would be subject to the second defeat of his career as Navarrete would get the decision victory. Gonzalez bounced back with a ninth-round knockout victory over Jeo Santisima to pick up the WBO International title.
Isaac Dogboe is a British-Ghanian fighter who turned pro in 2013. Dogboe would win all 17 of his bouts in the first five years of his pro career, picking up multiple rankings belts in the super bantamweight division. Dogboe would become WBO 'Interim' world champion in his 18th bout as he would dismantle Cesar Juarez in five rounds in Ghana. Dogboe would become the full champion in his next bout, as he would go toe-to-toe in a fight of the year contender with Jessie Magdaleno where Dogboe would survive a first-round knockdown to come back and stop Magdaleno in the 11th round.
Dogboe would make light work of Hidenori Otake in his first defence. Dogboe would heavily floor Otake in the first round before pouring all sorts of pressure on his opponent prompting the referee to jump in and stop the bout.
Dogboe would lose his belt next time out against Emanuel Navarrete in a close bout, but the unanimous decision would go the way of Navarrete. The rematch would see Navarrete impose his size and leave no questions as he would stop Dogboe in the final round. Dogboe would return at featherweight and would return with a bang as he would outbox Chris Avalos over seven rounds before stopping him in round eight. Two majority decisions over Adam Lopez and Christopher Diaz followed the victory over Avalos for Dogboe as he set up his fight with Gonzalez.
Gonzalez and Dogboe square off this Saturday at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minnesota in a show promoted by Bob Arum's Top Rank. The bout can be watched live in the US on ESPN+ and will be shown live in the UK in the early hours of Sunday morning on Sky Sports Action.