The Kildare light middleweight has been out of action since last year due to promotional issues but will return in a world title eliminator Down Under.
The Brisbane-based fighter has linked up with DDP Sports Management and will box in a WBO eliminator at the Convention Centre in the city on Saturday October 14th against veteran Japanese southpaw Yuki Nonaka [31(10)-8(1)-3].
Nonaka is undefeated since 2009 and in that time he has won the Japanese title and defended it six times. The fight will be 39 year old Nonaka’s first outside his native Japan.
It is crucial fight for Hogan who claimed the WBO Oriental light middleweight title in September against Samuel Colomban and then defended in November against Yao Yi Ma. Currently ranked #3 with the organisation, a win over #9 Nonaka should put the Kilcullen man in world title contention.
Indeed the division seems to be opening up for 32 year old Hogan. #1 Miguel Cotto fights for the vacant title this month against #6 Yoshihiro Kamegai. Should the Puerto Rican legend, as expected, claim the belt on August 26th, he will vacate it rather soon as intends to retire this year. Meanwhile, #2 Liam Williams and #4 Liam Smith fight in a rematch on October 28th following their bad-tempered first clash.
It is entirely feasible that the winner of Hogan-Nonaka and Williams-Smith face off for the vacant belt – or that Williams-Smith is elevated to a vacant title fight with the winner being mandated to defend against Hogan.