30 September 2010
Martin Rogan will return to action on the undercard of Willie Caseys European super-bantamweight title challenge against Kiko Martinez in Limerick on November 6.
Inaugural Prizefighter winner and former Commonwealth heavyweight champ Rogan will feature on the card as he bids to bounce back from a career threatening injury.
There are considerable parallels in the careers of Casey and Rogan. Indeed Casey emerged into serious title contention following his Prizefighter win in London earlier this year – the same route travelled by Rogan in a meteoric rise that saw him go on to defeat Audley Harrison before a thrilling KO win over then European and Commonwealth Champ Matt Skelton.
However a serious neck injury and back to back defeats to Sam Sexton defeats have seen Rogan out of the ring for almost a year.
The popular Belfast fighter formerly known as The Entertainer says he will be coming back as The Iron Man and is boldly predicting that he will bring a World Heavyweight title back to Ireland.
Like the old song says, you ain’t seen nothin yet!, said Rogan. I’m back in the gym, 100 per cent healthy and can’t wait to start the second phase of my career in Limerick on November 6. The Entertainer is gone, long live the Iron Man!
I’ll still be providing entertainment of course but I’m calling myself the Iron Man from here on in because I have added steel and resolve now. The time out of the ring has only made me more determined to prove that I have what it takes to bring a World Heavyweight title to Ireland. People said I wouldn’t win the Prizefighter, people said I wouldn’t beat Audley Harrison, people said I wouldn’t beat Matt Skelton but I did all that and trust me that will be nothing compared to what I’m going to do from here on in.
The heavyweight division is a bit of a joke right now. You have a guy in Audley Harrison who I beat almost two years ago taking on David Haye for the World title in November so that tells you everything you need to know about the state of the heavyweights right now but I’m back and I’m going to be their worst nightmare. I won’t rest until I have that World title belt wrapped around my waist.
Rogan says he’s completely recovered from the serious neck injury which came close to ending his career. I first noticed the problem in my neck after the Matt Skelton fight, explained Rogan. You should always listen to you’re body but I ignored it and it just got progressively worse to the point where by the second Sam Sexton fight I was essentially a one armed fighter.
I had the surgery in January and it required a three and a half hour operation called a discectomy fusion to fix the problem. Basically I had a protruding disc from my back which was pressing on the nerves in my neck and causing me to lose all feeling in my arm. It was a serious injury but thank god the surgery went very well and I feel ready to take on the world again.
Paul Hyland, who is chasing a clash with the winner of Martinez Casey, will also be in action on the card.