Saturday night at the Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Russell Peltz promotions and Top Rank hosted an all action ESPN broadcast headlined by a WBO Super Bantamweight world title main event between undefeated champion Jessie Magdaleno and undefeated challenger Issac Dogboe. In the co-features heavyweight Bryant Jennings faced Joey Dawejko in a ten round contest and super middleweight Jesse Hart faced Demond Nicholson for the vacant NABF Super Middleweight title.
There were little if anyone in attendance or watching on television, who expected the type of action that unfolded in the main event between Jessie Magdaleno and Issac Dogboe who was little known if at all to American fans. Once the opening bell sounded, Dogboe smaller and younger came right at Magdaleno throwing hard punches to the body, Magdaleno would answer right back with his own body work that sent Dogboe on his heels. The champion would work off the ropes and connect with a counter punch that sent Dogboe down to the canvas for the first time in his short career. Once beating the count Dogboe would again go on the attack looking to return the favor.
Over the next several rounds it would be Dogboe applying pressure to Magdaleno, digging his body and moving away from counter shots of Jessie who had the most success using his jab. When round five started we seen a dramatic turn of events after a full assault from Dogboe, lasting fifteen to twenty seconds sent Magdaleno to the canvas for the first time in his career. Once up Magdaleno would yell at Dogboe and tell him “Bring it on” but that appeared to be more out of frustration than genuine desire to brawl with the smaller younger opponent.
The all out assault of Dogboe would continue in rounds six and seven, it was not until round eight did Magdaleno start using his jab and footwork to keep Dogboe at a distance while putting rounds in the bank. As the tenth began you could see Magdaleno fading, his legs had lost their bounce, his punches were wide and he absorbed massive punishment from Dogboe who never slowed his attack. With only 15 seconds left in round ten Magdaleno almost dropped to the canvas from a body punch that visibly shook his legs.
When the eleventh started Issac Dogboe sensing Magdaleno was still hurt went right for the champion. A flurry of punches to the body and head pinned Magdaleno against the ropes then once more placed him on the canvas. He would manage to beat the ten count but before having a chance to gain his senses Issac Dogboe drove him across the ring with pressure and hard body shots. That last assault from Dogboe would send Magdaleno to the canvas one more time forcing referee Benjy Esteves to call a halt to the action at 1:38 of round eleven.
The win would not only make Issac Dogboe, the new WBO super bantamweight champion but youngest world champion in the history of Ghana. With his new world title Issac Dogboe improved to 19-0 (13), Jessie Magdaleno suffering his first loss now stands at 25-1 (18).
The nights co-feature between Jesse Hart and Demond Nicholson was an action packed bout where both men landed their fair share of power punches. At the end of round one hart would be rocked by a last second right hand from Nicholson. They would trade momentum in round two then referee Shawn Clark who did a terrible job all night called an obvious slip on the rings advertisement logo by Nicholson a knockdown. Over the next several rounds Hart stalked Nicholson looking to land one big power punch while Nicholson moved and jabbed to avoid the bigger Harts power.
The oddest moment of the night took place in round seven when a crouching Nicholson was caught by an overhand right of Hart, he was not hurt but his gloves did touch the canvas. When Nicholson stood up he assumed the referee was going to call it a knockdown but Hart had already started to attack before the referee took action. This would cause Nicholson to try and gain some room to figure out what was happening but Hart continued his assault, a combination sent Nicholson to the canvas where he sat looking p at referee Shawn Clark. There would be a count from Clark to eight then he stopped and pleaded with Nicholson to “Get Up”.Eventually the contest was halted officially in round seven but the commission would need to get involved while everyone watching was trying to understand why Clark had failed to make proper calls. With the win Jesse Hart claimed the NABF 168 lb title and improved to 24-1(20), Demond Nicholson now stands at 18-3-1(17).
In a heavyweight bout former world title challenger Bryant Jennings faced tough Joey Dawejko in a ten round contest. It would be the early body work of Dawejko which made Jennings uncomfortable and looking tired before midway through Dawejko slowed his pace. Thats when Jennings using footwork and his jab was able to keep Dawejko at a distance while Jennings built up a lead on the scorecards. When the bout ended all three judges seen it 98-92 in favor of Bryant Jennings which in my opinion was much too wide. On my unofficial scorecard I had it scored 98-96 in favor of Jennings and in the opinion the judges did not give Dawejko credit for his body attack in the early rounds. With the win Bryant Jennings improved to 23-2 (13) while Joey Dawejko now stands at 19-5-4 (11).
In undercard action
Former Olympian and featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson improved to 6-0 (3) when he stopped Roxberg Patrick Riley 12-1 in the second round.
Welterweights Mohamed Rodriguez 11-5-1 (4) and Kent Cruz 14-0-1 (9) fought to an eight round split draw. Scores read 78-74 for Cruz, 77-75 for Rodriguez and 76-76.
Super Featherweight- Robson Conceiaco 7-0 (4) def. Alex Torres Rynn 6-2(3) via UD 6.
Bantamweight- Christian Carto 15-0 (11) def. Edwin Rodriguez 9-5 (5) via UD 8.
Lightweight- Joseph Adorno 7-0 (7) def. Jorge Hugo Padron 3-2 (3) via KO 1
Super Welterweight- Marcel Rivers 5-0 (4) def. Ronald Logan 0-3 via TKO 2.