With his championship title challenge just a few days away, Dennis Hogan sat down with Boxing Insider Radio to discuss how he sees his fight against Jermall Charlo playing out, who he expects to win the Joshua vs Ruiz rematch and who he believes is the greatest fighter ever out of Ireland. His answer might just surprise you.
Following one of the most controversial decisions in boxing this year, Jr Middleweight contender Dennis Hogan is ready to move on.
Hogan was last seen in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico as he took on then WBO Jr Middleweight belt holder Jamie Munguia. Hogan has never been viewed as a true title contender, but that perception has quickly changed following his performance.
In front of a crowd that was completely against him, Hogan seemingly out boxed Munguia and won his first world titles. It was a major upset and one that placed Hogan on the boxing map.
Well, at least, that was supposed to be the headline. Hogan lost via majority decision to Munguia in a contest in which many believed he did more than enough to win. With such a devastating defeat the belief in one’s self could understandably wane, but what could he do?
Two choices emerged from the smoke that emanated from the controversial decision. Either continue to sit and complain about it or get back to work and prove that you deserve to be a world champion. Dennis Hogan chose the latter.
“Going to Mexico and out boxing the champion was something that I knew I could do,” said Hogan. “My confidence has been lifted since then. We went out there on six weeks notice and I was able to do that. I know that I can do a whole lot better and that will show on Saturday. That loss did not drop my confidence, it only lifted it.”
Before Hogan received an offer to face off against WBC Middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs), he initially wanted an immediate rematch with Munguia. Once it had become painfully clear that it would not happen, Hogan turned his attention to a new challenge. One that might prove to be even more difficult than his last.
“Charlo is a great fighter. I know that he is a two time world champion and he obviously deserves all of the accolades but this is my time now. I fully believe it and I am ready to go.”
The move to a brand new division is always a difficult one, but meeting a fighter the caliber of Jermall Charlo is certainly an arduous task.
Luckily for Hogan, he does have a bit of experience fighting at the Middleweight division, although he hasn’t done so in over five years. To help him prepare for a war against Charlo, he has received the help of several contenders but also former champions as well.
“I was able to get some really good sparring partners. Luis Arias is a guy that gave me some good rounds and so has Jeff Horn. There has been a number of high quality guys in camp that has given me some great rounds.”
No matter the preparation, Hogan won’t be ready for what is coming his way this Saturday night. At least according to Charlo.
“You hear fighters say that they’re not going for the knockout, but I am,” said Charlo on an interview a few months ago. “If I hit Hogan with something flush, he’s going to sleep.”
Charlo has always gotten under the skin of his opponents. His demeanor gives off a certain aura. One of extreme confidence and also maybe borderline delusion as well. For what it’s worth, Charlo has backed up his words time and time again. He hasn’t lost a single fight and he hasn’t exactly been in a close one either. The WBC titlist doesn’t believe that this contest will be close either. Predicting a third round knockout.
The comments of Charlo does nothing to enrage Hogan. In fact, he hopes it continues as it will lead to the detriment of his opponent.
“It doesn’t phase me in the slightest. It’s just words. I don’t know why he thinks that he can just do that but he is putting a lot of pressure on himself. Munguia said he’ll stop me in the fourth round but after the fourth round went by I was still good and gaining momentum and that brings people to a very bad place in their minds. To call a third round knockout, I think is doing me a great service so I’m glad he did that and I’ll be ready to put the pressure on as the rounds go by.”
Both Charlo and Hogan possess two completely different fighting styles. While Charlo enjoys ending his nights early, Hogan on the other hand is more known for his ability to out box his opponents. He has not scored a knockout win since stopping David Galvin back in 2014.
Be that as it may, that hasn’t stopped the Ireland born fighter in believing that if given the chance, he will put an end to the contest before the judges get involved.
“If I get a chance I will be going in to try and finish him. If I get a sniff of that I’ll be moving in. I can go for as long as I need and I can go high intensity for a longer time. Remember for the Munguia fight I only had 6 weeks to prepare. This time around I had a full 12 so I will be fully ready.”
Scoring a knockout victory, although unlikely, would certainly be in the best interest of Hogan. The last time he left his fate in the hands of the judges, he was given a raw deal.
“I need to get the judges eye early and let them know that I am in there. One thing that will be in my favor is that we will have the Irish and the Austrians there and they make a lot of noise. That always plays a factor because when the judges see me land a punch the fans will make noise every single time. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. I know that I can out box Charlo and hopefully they will give me the decision.”
Hogan not only possesses the skill and will to make this a very interesting contest, but he has seen his fellow countrymen and women prosper as of late.
“Unbelievable,” said Hogan when describing boxing star Michael Conlan. “I’ve seen him box and win national Irish titles and win world championships in the amateurs. He’s been making massive waves. I wish him all the best and he will be a world champion, there is no doubt in my mind.”
With fighters such as Conlan, Hogan and of course, UFC star Conor McGregor. It would be a difficult decision to make in terms of who is the best fighter amongst them. But not for Hogan. Not only was it an easy choice, but it was a name that was not mentioned amongst that group.
“Katie Taylor is Ireland’s greatest fighter ever. I’ve had training sessions with her and she is unbelievable. She is a brilliant person both in and out of the ring.”
Dennis Hogan vs Jermall Charlo is certainly a big fight but there is another contest that is taking place on the same night that, with all due respect to Charlo, Hogan and everyone else fighting on this card in Brooklyn New York, dwarfs it considerably.
That would be the mega showdown between unified Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua, taking place in Saudi Arabia.
Hogan’s full attention might be on Charlo, but he will certainly have his eyes on the massive event that will be taking place halfway across the world.
“I’m going with Joshua. I think he had some anxiety before the first fight. I’ve never seen a fighter unhappy walking into the ring and happy when the fight is over. Something just wasn’t right in his mindset but if he has gotten that right then I believe he will win.”
As for his predictions for his own contest, he made sure he did not mince his words.
“My hand will get raised in victory and the green belt around my waist. This is something that I truly want and believe. You guys just sit back, relax and enjoy.”
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