In a sporting context, Dennis Hogan [28(7)-2(0)-1] was denied a world title, one of the greatest ever away wins possibly in boxing and certainly in Irish boxing history, as well as his place in history alongside Ireland’s 20 or so world champions in Mexico earlier this month
However, the injustice doesn’t stop there, a passionate Paul Keegan explains.
The accidental promoter and front man for DDP Sports, a promotional company that has had massive success since joining the sport just two years ago, claims the poor judging and a defeat that has been shrouded in controversy could have denied ‘The Hurricane’ up to FIVE MILLION DOLLARS.
The Brisbane-based Dublin-born promoter was home this week and, during a sit down with Irish-Boxing.com and the42.ie’s Gavan Casey, was visibly upset for a fighter who he has more than just a working relationship with.
Keegan knows the sporting element may hurt the Kildare man most, but claims he can’t stop thinking about what the defeat could mean for Hogan’s partner Brideen, young daughter Aria, and their financial future.
The passionate Dub reveals that, if Hogan had have been handed the decision he seemingly earned in the ring against Jaime Munguia, he could have made up to $5 million over his next three fights.
Keegan was keen to point out that fact and the more human element which should be taken into account as they push for justice from the WBO.
Whilst wary of his team being viewed as ‘whingers’, he admits to becoming frustrated with suggestions that Hogan should accept the poor decision due to the fact it was a somewhat competitive fight in the champion’s hometown.
After speaking passionately about the subject and the human reasons he will never be willing to accept the injustice, Keegan broke down in more practical terms what defeat has cost Hogan.
“Munguia was on $1.5 million guaranteed so if Dennis beats him we would have looked to sit down with an American promoter and do a co-promotion deal. He would have had a voluntary defense, which we would have done with Spike [O’Sullivan], imagine what Dennis and Spike would have made out of that fight?”
“I am fairly confident Dennis’s first purse as a world champion would have been over one million and then you have a mandatory fight in America,” he said.
“We would have signed a three fight deal with an American promoter to cover that and you’re looking at anywhere between 2 to 5 million dollars. If Munguia is worth $1.5 million per fight what is Dennis worth, the guy who beat ‘The Monster’?”
“The good thing about the situation we were in, we could have spoke to anyone. We could have spoke to Top Rank, Al Haymon or Golden Boy. We would have had three promoters looking to work with the world champion.”
There was talk while negotiations were ongoing – with the purse bids date fast approaching – that Golden Boy were keen to work with Hogan beyond the Munguia fight.
Keegan admits that was discussed, but was never part of the contract and, as they were confident the Brisbane resident would win, they were happy it wasn’t.
“They brought up the options at the start, but when they sent the contract there was no mention of options. We didn’t bring it up again because we were happy as Larry to walk away as a free agent. We would have easily fell in with an American promoter because that is were the money is.”
While there has been visible disdain for the result from fighters, commentators, journalists, and the public it has died somewhat over recent weeks.
Some have been taking the ‘that’s boxing’ stance and have eased their anger with ‘Hogan will get another big fight on the back of this’ medicine.
While that may be true and there are rumours of offers coming in, Keegan claims DDP won’t join the acceptance party.
The promoter has called for the WBO to ‘do the right thing’ and in fairness you get the sense he believes they will.
“They have to do the right thing by him, they have to do the right thing by fans, by boxing and Irish boxing. The ball is in their court the world is watching,” he continues before stressing what the right thing to do would be.
“The right thing is order a rematch straight away, put Dennis back as mandatory and then it’s over to Munguia.”
“He either goes ‘I want to do the rematch’ or he walks away and moves up a division and Dennis fights Patrick Texeira for the vacant title. We can do that fight in America, Australia or Ireland.”
“They have full control and we believe they will do the right thing. There has to be some genuine people in that organisation there has to be. There has to be people there that do the right thing and say these robberies have to stop because people are walking away from boxing in their droves. I know Dennis is keeping positive about it, but my job is not to be positive and to say ‘that’s bollox’ and that it’s people’s livelihoods.”
DDP refuse to accept going to Mexico was an error. They have a strong working relationship with the WBO and sought assurances galore before they signed the contract that had Monterrey typed in as the venue.
The promotional outfit also can’t see why venue should be a determining factor in a contest that takes place within the ropes and nor should it be deemed reason to overlook any injustice.
However, Keegan does admit an error may have been made in not pushing for judges from further afield.
Team Hogan asked for non-Mexican judges and that wish was granted, but the Dubliner admits they should have been more specific in their adjudication requests.
“We were assured by the WBO a fight in Mexico and a fight in Vegas would be exactly the same,” he continues.
“We asked for neutral judges. We didn’t say ‘can we have American judges’ we just asked for no Mexican judges. We should have got an Asian judge, a European judge and an American judge, but when you’re dealing with that level of fight you’re thinking ‘there is no way they could do anything, they wouldn’t have the balls…'”