August 24 Alex McGreevy
IRISH HEAVYWEIGHT Martin Rogan has launched a furious attack on the managerial team behind British and Commonwealth champ Tyson Fury as it arrives in Belfast today to unveil plans for a King’s Hall show next month.
Rogan has refused to fight the 6ft 9inch Fury and last night claimed he turned down the opportunity because Fury’s manager and promoter Mick Hennessy had “unlicensed middle-men in Belfast making all sorts of offers” on his behalf.
Rogan claims Hennessy failed to reply to his attempts to contact him throughout last month and only contacted the west-Belfast man on August 10 with an offer to showdown with Englishman Fury, who claims roots in Co Antrim and Galway.
Fury’s scheduled show at the King’s Hall on September 17 has yet to name an opponent and Rogan claims the fighter’s camp took it for granted he would be the man standing in the opposite corner.
Last week Fury labelled Rogan a “bully” and claimed the 40-year-old taxi driver was afraid to fight him and didn’t want a repeat of his title show defeats to Norwich heavyweight Sam Sexton in his native city.
Rogan said: “Mick Hennessy should be ashamed of himself for allowing middle-men represent him and his company. They wanted Martin Rogan but they didn’t get him because they didn’t speak to Martin Rogan’s manager, who is Martin Rogan. They didn’t speak to the boxer Martin Rogan. They didn’t speak to anyone called Martin Rogan.
“They sent the dog that sits in the yard instead of the businessman and that is not how I work. I manage myself, so Mick Hennessy should have come to me. He should not have got someone from Belfast to speak on his behalf and then they should not have got John Ingle to call me from England on their behalf. Mick failed to return a voicemail I left him on his phone and when I called his office, I left my email address with him.”
Fight talk in Belfast claims Rogan turned down an £80k offer to clash with Fury next month but he says that is a scandalous lie.
Rogan added: “I have had offers of £40,000 and £50,000 and nothing anywhere near £80,000. So if Fury’s people are saying it was £80,000, why was I being offered less? Here’s the truth that the Irish fight fans should know; Hennessy wanted me and only me to fight Fury, so he booked the King’s Hall and took it for granted I would accept.
“Anytime a middle-man called my number I sent him away with a message to tell Mick Hennessy to call me directly.
“Mick didn’t contact me until August 10, so he was trying to give me as little notice as possible to prepare. I am nobody’s fool and the Irish fight fans should not be fooled by this carnival behind Fury.
“They have made it a sideshow; they have insulted me and tried to undermine me. They have tried to make my supporters believe I am money-motivated. If I was motivated by money, I would have taken the fight. My only motivation is to take the belts off Fury; the money will look after itself after that. I have only ever taken fights to win them and take the belts also and I have proved this in the past.”
Rogan says he has “put a number of people back in their boxes” in recent days because he is being bombarded with text messages and phone-calls claiming he turned down “megabucks”.
He added: “I have had enough of these people and the lies they have spread throughout my city and I have confronted the sources. The people know who they are and they should hang their heads in shame because of the way in which they have treated an Irish fighter and taken for granted the Irish fight fans. Tyson is not Irish but his people are hanging him on the coat-tails of his Irish roots in order to market him. His heritage is none of my business and nor is it a problem for me.”
“Martin Rogan, Irish heavyweight boxer, manager and man, can sleep well in his bed and has nothing to hide. When Tyson Fury and Mick Hennessy leave Belfast behind, they won’t give a damn about Irish fight fans or anybody else. They call it The Only Show in Town but it will be The Only Farce in Town. I wish the Irish guys on the fight-card and those on the Paul McCloskey card all the very best.”
Fury is expected to name an opponent for next month’s King’s Hall debut at a press conference today.