Dennis Hogan to go into Tszyu battle without Wayne McCullough in his corner

Dennis Hogan [28(7)-2(1)-1] will be without new trainer Wayne McCullough when he trades leather with Tim Tszyu [17(13)-0] later this month.

‘The Hurricane’ takes on the rising star of Australian boxing in at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre in Newcastle, Australia on March 31.

The fight was meant to be the Australian based Kildare natives first under the Irish fight legend.

However, the Las Vegas based Olympic medal winner and former world champion is unable to make it Down Under for the fight.

The DDP Sports light middleweight will instead work under the guideance of his cutman Stephen Edwards during the fight.

“It wasn’t something that was just thrown at me two weeks ago,” Edwards told The Unofficial Scorecard Podcast.

“We knew from the very start that this was the contingency if McCullough was unable to get out to Australia [due to coronavirus travel restrictions].

“I do all of that role in sparring – and obviously fights are much different to sparring – but also bear in mind that over the last few years when Dennis has been the sparring partner to other boys that are in preparation for a fight at Stretton [Boxing Club] and also last year and this prep, I will have by fight night done Dennis’ corner for probably in sparring for probably over 350 rounds.

“I have also been in his corner in his last five fights, admittedly not in that head seat, but in the corner. I do know Dennis as a fighter. I do know Dennis as a person. So that would be much easier than if a boy walked off the street and just said ‘Hey, would you be my trainer?’

“I’m not the head trainer, I’m assisting Wayne. It’s just on the night I’ll need to be giving him the instructions.”

While McCullough can’t be there in person, he has had a serious input into camp.

‘The Pocket Rocket’ has been constantly liaising with the fighter and the team and has devised a game plan.

Hogan and McCullough have also spent time together and forged an understanding. The two time world title challenger was in camp in Sin City for a proposed St Stephen’s Day clash with Julian Williams.

It’s understood team Hogan are not overly concerned with the fact McCullough will not be ringside on fight night as they have confidence in their fighter, his experience and Edwards.

However, there is a feeling the Irish fight legend would have been beneficial in terms of increasing the Irish support and general Irish furore around fight week.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com