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Dennis Hogan heading to New York to gatecrash World Title party

The Jimmy Kelly victory wasn’t a career-defining moment for Dennis Hogan.

So argues his promoter Paul Keegan who suggests that moment may come when the Kildare fighter challenges for the WBO light middleweight title.

Indeed the DDP boss and the WBO #2 head to New York not just to take in the clash between champion Sadam Ali and challenger Liam Smith, but to show the winner how serious they are about fighting for the strap.

Hogan’s should secure mandatory status thanks to his Kelly win earlier this month, but nothing has been officially confirmed by the governing body and Keegan is keen to force the issue.

The Kilcullen man will therefore be ringside at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, on Saturday May 12th.

A ringside presence in New York will certainly keep the Hurricane fresh in everyone’s minds – but Keegan, who went from Hogan friend to sponsor to promoter in recent years, is also hoping to have positive talks with the winner’s team.

In fact, the new promoter believes he can avoid a Jack Culcay scenario and secure a massive title fight for his charge on home soil.

“Myself and Dennis are flying over to New York to be there to see Ali versus Smith live,” Keegan told Irish-Boxing.com

“We want to show how serious we are by going over there and basically looking for a fight with the winner.”

“We would love to hold a world title fight in Australia.”

“We feel we have the infrastructure to host a fight of that magnitude here in Brisbane. We also have the support of big companies who want to be associated with the DDP brand now after our last show. We feel the whole of Australia would get behind a world title fight,” he added before stressing that, even at 33, Hogan is improving.

“This is only Dennis’s second fight with Glenn [Rushton] and he is a totally different fighter than two years ago. Even at 33, he is only getting better.”

“You haven’t seen the career-defining fight from Dennis, but it is coming.”

Hogan doesn’t care who he challenges for the world title once it is on the line, but Keegan has a personal preference for Smith. He claims Hogan’s coach fancies a tilt at Ali, who beat Miguel Cotto to claim the strap, but the narrative Smith provides appeals to the promoter.

Keegan explained that “on a personal level, I would like to see Liam Smith wins. I met him in Newcastle in the UK after he beat Liam Williams and he comes across as a straight up guy. I also think I fight with him and Dennis would be a cracker.”

“Then you have Ireland vs England fight again which proved to be a great recipe for success for the last show. I also know Glenn fancies Ali as he has picked holes in his game.”

“So, on a business level, we are open to whoever wins and regardless of who that is we want to put on a huge world title fight.”

A number of Irish fighters have taken strides to joining Ryan Burnett and Katie Taylor as world champions in 2018, Carl Frampton and TJ Doheny in particular, and Keegan believes Hogan is as deserving as any in terms of a world title tilt.

“He deserves it more than anyone and I am not just saying that. He has beaten two top 10 opponents on the bounce. Tell me anyone else who has done that in the division?
You’d find it hard to name someone more deserving than Dennis.”

The DDP promoter wasn’t just celebrating a victory for a friend or promoted fighter come April 8, the Dubliner was also toasting a successful show the day after ‘The Hurricane’ won a second world title eliminator.

The promotional outfit’s second show did impressive online viewing figures and most importantly played host to a number of quality fights not least a clash that between Damien Hooper and Renold Quinlan that will go down in Australian boxing folklore.

“I felt the show was top class from a promoters point of view it had everything,” a delighted Keegan continued.”

“We had the next generation of superstars, a fight of the year candidate and the world #2 vs #3 at light middle. We wanted constant action and feel we delivered on that promise.”

“We had 2000 in attendance and sold out, but the massive news is that we had a viewing audience of just under 400,000 – to put that into perspective we had 400 watch show one [which was pay-per-view].”

“I had to call the broadcast company Epicentre tv when they sent the figures through as I thought it was a mistake.”

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