02 March 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Martin Rogan did not just win over the crowd at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on Saturday, The Entertainer also won over his co-headliners.
Rogan claimed the Commonwealth heavyweight title with a stunning 11th-round stoppage win over Matt Skelton in a fight which many neutrals felt was the best domestic slugfest staged in Britain in many years.
Rogie’s reward is likely to be a title defence on home soil and James DeGale, Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders, all of whom kicked off their professional careers with victories in Birmingham on the same night, are now desperate to share another card with the Northern Irishman.
“The Irish love their boxing and to fight in Belfast would be an honour,” super-middleweight prospect DeGale enthused.
“The atmosphere for a Rogan fight would be absolutely amazing after what he did to Skelton on Saturday.
“He’s a real warrior and it made me realise what I need to do to make it to the top in professional boxing.”
And former amateur world champion Gavin, whose parents both hail from Dublin, is just as enthusiastic about a bout on The Emerald Isle.
“I’d love to fight in Ireland, north or south,” said Gavin. “Other than another fight in Birmingham, I can’t think of anywhere more I’d like to box next.”
Teenage star Saunders added: “I used to watch tapes of all the great Irish boxers when I starting out as an amateur, and they were a real inspiration.”