‘The Hurricane’ should, essentially, become mandatory for the WBO light middleweight world title if he can defeat Jimmy Kelly [23(9)-1(1)] on Saturday and would be next in line after Sadam Ali and Liam Smith battle it out for the title.
However, the Australia-based Kildare man doesn’t just want WBO ranking approval, he wants fight fans from around the world to believe he is truly deserving of a shot.
To ensure that fan approval and respect he is planning a ‘statement’ win and performance this weekend.
The 33-year-old takes on former world title challenger Kelly at the Brisbane Convention Centre and, in a fight that most would argue is all about victory, Hogan wants more.
“I can tell you I’m getting in there to make a massive statement and just show the world why I’m deserving of a world title fight,” the DDP Promotions fighter told aus-boxing.com.
“I want people to say I’m a deserving number one. ‘Let’s give him a shot for the world title because he has just earned his stripes there, beating a world title challenger as good as he did’. That’s what I want people to say after this fight,” added Hogan.
It’s admirable from WBO #2 and his pursuit of top-ranked fighters of late has a real ‘beat the best to become the best’ feel to it.
In that regard, he believes 25-year-old Kelly has the name, credentials and ranking to help him register a that aforementioned ‘statement’.
“It’s number two versus number three for the number one position,” he quipped. “It’s the perfect platform for me to go out there and make a real statement, which I do intend on doing. Obviously to get to the number one position after this fight would be great, but I need to make a statement.”
Kelly, who lost against Liam Smith in a previous WBO world title challenge, has proactively attempted to get under the skin in the build up.
He has declared he has the support of Australia, called on Hogan to clarify what country he represents, questioned his soon to be ring foe’s previous lifestyle and more.
The Kilcullen man has been a bit more reserved – although he has thrown the odd sly verbal dig in response – and has questioned the Manchester fighter’s emotional approach to the build-up.
“He’s from the UK, so he’s tough. There is no doubt about those guys being tough,” Hogan noted.
“What I see in him, first and foremost, is that he is emotional from all his Facebook posts. Maybe he needs to build some anger and rage – I don’t know what his angle is – but he seems very emotional.”
“One thing about him is he has never been in the eleventh and twelfth round ever,” he mused. “Not only that, he has never flown. He has never travelled out of the UK for a fight.”