Kildare light middleweight Dennis Hogan turned in a effective performance to defend his NABA title, for the first time, against crafty southpaw, Kenny Abril.
The undefeated Irishman, who hails from Kilcullen but lives now in Queensland, Australia, won a tough ten round decision over the home fighter – with the judges scoring the bout all in favour of the Lilywhite boxer (97-93 x2, 96-94).
The fight was the headline bout on a card that took place in the Seneca Casino at Niagra Falls in Upstate New York and was shown live on CBS Sports Network. Going forward, ‘Hurricane’ Hogan will have won himself a lot of new fans with his energy, grit, and no little skill.
Hogan started slow (by his busy standards) and the first three rounds were a very close affair – with a counter left by Abril being the stand-out punch.
The fourth saw ‘The Hurricane’ step up a gear and begin to cope better with his slippery southpaw opponent. This good work by Hogan continued into the fifth and sixth where he was dominant against a seemingly tiring, and increasingly ragged, Abril.
At the end of the sixth Abril’s corner were threatening to throw in the towel and this seemed to spark their man into life – with the New Yorker coming out swinging in the seventh. Hogan, however, had the skills to deal with this onslaught and switched onto the back foot, scoring some lovely counters.
The eight round saw the Kildare man slow down a bit as he took somewhat of a rest round. Hogan picked it back up in the penultimate round which was a close one as Abril threw the kitchen sink at the champion. Knowing his opponent needed a knockout in the last, Hogan avoided being drawn into a war kept his work crisp, clean and effective.
Despite a partisan home crowd cheering on Abril, the judges scorecards read fairly – meaning Hogan’s record has now climbed to [22(7)-0-1], while Abril has now slumped to [14(7)-8(1)-1]. 30 year old Hogan will want to fight again soon to further build his U.S. reputation and fanbase after a successful stint in Australia. ‘The Hurricane’ has ambitions of winning a world title and, with his high rankings (IBF #7 and WBA #12) that are sure to rise after this win, he may soon get a chance to try fulfill this dream.