If ‘The Hurricane’ secures victory over Jamie Weetch on the DDP Sports ‘All or Nothing’ card, his next fight will be for the WBO light middleweight title.
The Kildare fighter can enforce his mandatory status and may challenge Jamie Munguia provided the giant Mexican, as expected, comes through a voluntary defence in January versus Takeshi Inoue and remains in the 154lbs division.
Weetch [12(5)-2(0)] has certainly talked a good game in the build-up, has been billed as a dangerous and hungry challenge, but has also seemingly been hand picked to mirror the come-forward seek-and-destroy style of Munguia.
Rushton, who also trains former WBO welterweight champ Jeff Horn, feels it is important gets rounds in and more exposure to the style before the world tilt he has been due.
However, the coach claims the pressure is on the Kilcullen man to put in performance.
The frank trainer states that, if Hogan can’t deal with Weetch and what he has to offer, he won’t be ready for the Golden Boy-Zanfer starlet.
“We want a hit out. We want a fight against a tough come forward guy. If he is going to beat Jaime Munguia he needs to beat Jamie Weetch convincingly,” said the coach.
“It makes sense. It was certainly a good choice obviously Munguia, at six foot, is much bigger than Weetch so if we can’t get past Weetch convincingly we are not ready for Munguia.”
“I did the same with Jeff [Horn], I tested him all the way. We kept putting him up against world ranked opponents and that is one of the things I said to Dennis ‘you’re going to fight world ranked opponents in every fight’.”
“We don’t want the easy fights we want the tough guys and Jamie fits the bill perfectly,” added Rushton – who has been pinpointed by Weetch’s Irish manager Anto Connolly as a weak point in Team Hogan.
It might look like the veteran coach is putting pressure on a fighter that has won national and continental titles Down Under but, it appears, it is more an expression of faith in a famously driven competitor.
Hogan himself is determined to make a statement and asked for the fight to go ahead despite the fact he secured mandatory status mid-camp.
His coach promises that his charge has the bit between his teeth and is predicting a top-end performance tomorrow afternoon at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Rushton noted how “Dennis has double the experience of Jamie, but you don’t hit people with experience, you hit them with your fist.”
“Jamie is a very tough guy and certainly he is coming here to win. He has prepared well and he is a come forward pressure fighter and he is going to bring it.”
“He is going to bring his best. I have no doubt he will bring his best on Saturday night but, rest assured, it will not be good enough. Dennis is too strong, too experienced, too hungry and he really has that eye of the tiger.”
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