The Kildare light middleweight is ranked #4 with the WBO, and it has been announced that he will face the organisation’s #5 next in a world title eliminator which could provide the winner with a shot at the belt afterwards.
The WBO Inter-Continental rankings title will be on the line at the Brisbane Convention Centre in three months time and Manchester’s Jimmy Kelly [23(9)-1(1)] will be the man in the opposite corner to ‘Hurricane’ Hogan.
The match-up had been mooted recently, and indeed was teased on Wednesday when the deal was signed – before finally being confirmed tonight.
The clash will headline the DDP Sports ‘Revolution’ card, the Irish-run promotional company’s second event.
In his last fight Hogan had jumped up the rankings with a successful WBA Oceania title defence against Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka, while Kelly has been rebuilding since his world title loss to Queensberry stablemate Liam Smith in December 2016 and last year scored a good win over Rick Godding.
The brown belt is expected to be defended by champion Sadam Ali, who dethroned Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto last month, against mandatory challenger Smith in the same timeframe as this fight, potentially lining the two winners up for a world title fight in the Autumn.
32 year old Hogan warned that “Kelly is coming to my city, my home and my supporters.”
“Let’s just say for your first fight outside of the UK he will get a nice surprise from the Brisbane faithful, I am beating him for Irish pride and for Australian pride.”
DDP boss Paul Keegan explained how “Dennis has always said ‘get me the best fights possible, I don’t care who I fight, nobody will stop me becoming the world champion’.”
“As a team we wanted to give boxing fans a real war so Jimmy vs Dennis fits that bill they don’t like each other and have been going at it for months on social media. This will be one of the most interesting 12 weeks in the lead up to the fight and it will be even more interesting when they come face to face at the press conference in April.”
25 year old Kelly, whose family hail from Carlow and Kilkenny, succinctly added that “I have to feed my family so I have to beat Hogan, it’s that simple.”
Kildare boxing is proudly supported by Liffey Crane Hire.