After an unfortunate knockout loss to a concrete pillar, Carl Frampton is looking to finally make his Top Rank debut on November 30th, taking on fellow former super bantamweight champion Isaac Dogboe in the latter’s first appearance at 126 pounds.
Frampton (26-2, 15 KO), out of action since an unsuccessful bid at Josh Warrington’s IBF title last December, had intended to challenge WBO champion Oscar Valdez before Valdez’s planned move to 130, warming up with a fight against Emmanuel Dominguez on August 10th. That didn’t quite pan out; Valdez vacated the title ahead of an ordered purse bid against Shakur Stevenson, and the Dominguez fight fell through over a slapstick-level accident in a hotel lobby.
Dogboe (20-2, 14 KO) figures to be a far more compelling opponent than Dominguez, even with his recent struggles. “Royal Storm” was on his way to 2018 Fighter of the Year candidacy after knocking out Cesar Juarez, Jessie Magdaleno, and Hidenori Otake, only to suffer a one-sided loss to Emmanuel Navarrete in December. The rematch went even worse, as Navarrete stopped the 24-year-old Ghanaian in the final round.
After that loss, Dogboe announced his intentions to move from 122 to 126 pounds, which seemed an iffy proposition after his struggles with the far taller and rangier Navarrete. At 5’5,” however, Frampton is actually shorter than Navarrete and will be at a reach disadvantage against Dogboe, making this a genuinely compelling fight so long as Dogboe can recover from the damage he took.