Having worked so hard and campaigned tirelessly to secure WBO light middleweight mandatory status, Dennis Hogan [27(7)-1(0)-1] puts it on the line this coming Saturday.
The Kildare fighter takes on Jamie Weetch [12(5)-2(0)] at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre knowing defeat will see him lose a his world title shot guarantee.
The light middleweight bout, which tops a DDP Promotions card, shouldn’t be mistaken for a world title eliminator. ‘The Hurricane’ was granted mandatory status by the WBO two months ago and could have just waited until 2019 for a the fight he has dreamed of.
However, the 33-year-old risks it all on what looks likely to be an entertaining show on Saturday night against Welshman Weetch – who brings the IBF Pan-Pacific belt to the table.
Promoter Paul Keegan is aware of the ramifications of defeat for the lilywhite light middle, but isn’t too worried.
He takes comfort in the fact Hogan wanted the fight as he was determined to enter his world title challenge on the back of the statement win and predicts a world-level performance from Australian-based fighter in Brisbane this afternoon.
“I am not regretting carrying on with the fight,” a bullish Keegan told Irish-Boxing.com.
“The fight was done before the WBO decided Dennis was mandatory but the decision as a team was to stick to our word and do the fight. Dennis was actually the most vocal about the fight going ahead as he feels he needs this fight to make a statement.”
“I think we will see that world class performance that Dennis has in him because all eyes are in him this weekend.”
It’s an admirable stance from Hogan to want to fulfil his fight obligation and, having last boxed in May versus Jimmy Kelly, it is a good opportunity to both stay sharp and make a statement.
However, if Keegan is to be believed, Hogan will need a top display to get through his opponent this weekend.
Not only does Keegan believe Weetch is capable of putting it up to the Kilcullen man, he stresses the point that he enters the fight knowing he can change his life.
“Jamie is a very good fighter who maybe has flown under the radar because of the mandatory decision half-way through camp. He has balls, he is coming to Brisbane to change his whole career.
“A win over Dennis and he is the WBO Inter-Continental Champion and some huge fights next year. Dennis is going to have to be at the very top of his game or Jamie will take advantage.”
“Remember, Jamie has nothing to lose and everything to win.”
If Hogan comes through Saturday unscathed the attention then turns to Jaime Munguia and the WBO light middleweight title.
There are those wondering if the giant Mexican will still be around at 154lbs come the Spring of next year and he first has to overcome Takeshi Inoue in late January.
Team Hogan are aware of the potential for change, but know for certain, if their man wins on Saturday, he is in pole position for a challenge and they will begin making plans as early as Monday morning.
“Once we come through the weekend we will then start the conversation with Munguia’s people. He has a world title defence in January against WBO #3 Takeshi Inoue so whoever wins that we will then sit down to lock in Dennis’s fight.”
“I did contact [Golden Boy president] Eric Gomez last week just stating both boys have huge fights coming up and, should both come through them, we will touch base in January.”