Such was the reaction to the controversial world title reverse in Mexico on Saturday night that the majority claim the least the Brisbane-based Irish fighter deserves is a rematch.
Indeed, Keegan revealed, in the minutes after the fight, champion Jaimie Munguia’s promoters Fernando Beltran and Oscar De La Hoya all but offered a return, while the titleholder did the same not long after his hand was raised in Monterrey.
According to Keegan, all that is left is for the World Boxing Organisation to do the right thing and officially order a repeat – and a response to a formal complaint regarding the judging of the contest and requesting a repeat is awaited.
If Im the WBO, I mandate a rematch between Munguia and Hogan. May not matter, but that’s the least they can do… #boxing
— Steve Kim (@StevESPNKim) April 14, 2019
Caught up with @dennis_h_hogan in his locker room. Frustrated, but gracious. Fought his heart out—deserves another opportunity, either in a rematch or for a vacant title.
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) April 14, 2019
“Dennis is the champion of the world he just doesn’t have the belt but we are coming for that now,” Keegan told Irish-Boxing.com.
“Munguia’s promoter offered me the rematch in the ring. I said 100 percent and asked ‘are you are a man of your word?’ and he said ‘yes’. Munguia offered the rematch in the ring after, too.”
“Golden Boy want the rematch and DDP obviously want the rematch.”
“Now it’s up to the WBO to order the rematch. If they know in their hearts what’s right they will do that this week. We are appealing the decision now the letter has been sent.”
A determination to secure a deserved rematch has distracted the Dubliner from the hurt of the Saturday’s result, but when pushed on it he is obviously upset.
Keegan claims he had 10 minutes of joy, content in the knowledge he had helped a puncher, who was his friend before he was a fighter on his books, reach the top of the world.
“It is absolutely devastating,” he responds when asked about the controversial defeat.
“That 10 minutes between the final bell and the announcement Dennis was the world champion. I just hugged him and said you did it. I was happy for him his daughter his partner and his family. I was happy because he was now going to be able to look after them after years of sacrifice.”
The dream world title element and achieving what some called the impossible was motivation enough for Hogan going into the world title fight.
However, Keegan is keen to point out it wasn’t just the world title and a place in Irish boxing history that was taken from the Kildare man.
Victory would have set the 34-year-old grafter up for further life changing paydays and gifted him the chance to look after his young family.
“A win on Saturday secures his family’s future. We would have secured the next three fights and he would have been set for life. The judges took that away on Saturday, that’s what hitting me,” continued Keegan.
“Dennis owns one third of DDP with me and Danny [Dimas]. This is something we built when everyone was laughing at us and saying we wouldn’t last a year.“
“We as a team Dennis, Glenn [Rushton, coach], myself, Danny, Peter Kahn [adviser] and Dennis’s backround team who put their lives on hold for four weeks to go and give him the best camp possible deserve better.”
Last Saturday’s challenger revealed he traveled to Mexico because he was assured a ‘fair result’ by the WBO President Francisco Varcarcel.
However, there are some suggesting now agreeing to go into the champions back yard when holding mandatory position as a bargaining tool was an error and a dodgy decision is something to be expected.
Keegan, though, has no Mexican regrets and claims the judges and not where the fight took place was the issue.
“I don’t regret going to Mexico. The people were amazing, Munguia’s camp were amazing to us and the promoters were amazing. You can’t blame Mexico,” he clarified.
“I am upset at the judges who are all American. I’m upset at what I see as incompetence from the judges.”
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