The Kildare light middleweight faces veteran Japanese champion Yuki Nonaka [31(10)-8(1)-3] on Saturday October 14th at the Brisbane Convention Centre where he will put his WBO Oriental rankings title on the line for the second time..
The fight pits the the WBO #6 and #7 against each other. #2 and #4 Liam Smith and Liam Williams also face off next month, and a bout between the respective winners for the belt that is soon to be vacated by champion Miguel Cotto looks to be the plan.
At six foot tall, southpaw Nonaka is four inches taller than Hogan. However, the Hurricane is well used to this approach and is planning to overwhelm his 39 year old opponent.
Hogan outlined how “Nonaka is a slick, elusive counter-puncher, but I’m used to that style. I do very well against guys like that so I’m very confident going in.
“As an amateur I was [Intermediate] light heavyweight champion of Ireland so I got used to boxing guys taller than me. It’s all about nullifying him, frustrating him, breaking him down and making him do what we want him to do, then we’ll catch him.”
“I’ll have youth on my side, I’ll have aggression on my side and I’ll be ready to go all out for the full ten rounds.”
“We know all the ingredients are there, it’s just about doing everything that we need to do.”
Now trained by Glenn Rushton, the mastermind behind Jeff Horn’s win over Manny Pacquiao, everything seems to be falling into place for Hogan.
The lilywhite described how “the gym is structured really well, it’s a really good set-up. You manage to get all the stuff done in a good way and it’s actually enjoyable going up there to train, even though it’s tough work.”
“You can go years smashing out sessions and you very rarely get to see things changing because of the intense nature of the work. But when you get to see big changes on a regular basis and stuff that really works to your advantage when you’re in the ring, you start to realise this stuff is working.”
“It gives you a lot of confidence and more motivation to come back and do it all again.”
Hogan has grown since his 2015 loss to Jack Culcay in Germany.
The Kilcullen man was somewhat outsmarted by the German-Ecuadorian in Wilhelmsburg. Hogan was the busier throughout, but Culcay had eye-catching spurts and stole rounds, claiming a win on the cards.
Two years older, wiser, and better, Hogan is ready to blow away Nonaka.
The 32 year old explained how “I learned a lot about what happens when you’re the away fighter. And what that means is that you can’t leave anything to chance. You have to make sure every little thing is spot on. Even if you’re winning the rounds you can’t relax for a second, you’ve got to stay on for the whole lot and you can’t even give those guys an inch.”
“I used to give people an inch and now I’m working on not giving them nothing. That fact that I’ve been there and done that, now I know I can be there and win that.”
“In this fight I’m going to make a statement. And after this people are going to know we mean business.”
Hogan has been out of action for a year now due to promotional problems, but is keen to start building – and has full belief in his capabilities and end goal.
The Irishman abroad stated that “After this I look forward to gaining more momentum with the crowd and hopefully getting more Queenslanders and Aussies behind me, along with the Irish. I have great support from the Irish community here and just want everyone to come together and support me, together we can make it work. I will be the world champion and with the support of those people.”
“If you believe in yourself and keep pushing yourself to keep going, good things will come to you. I really believe that.”
“There were days when you didn’t know whether you were national level, regional level or world level. It seems like it’s so far away, the goal of being world champion. But I kept saying to myself ‘I’m going to be world champion and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there’. And I showed up every day and put in the work and here I am.”
“I’m on the cusp of it now.”
Kildare Boxing is proudly supported by Liffey Crane Hire