Hogan eyes the world
Kildare fighter can set up title shot with win tonight
They're calling tonight's super-welterweight fight in Brisbane All or Nothing and DDP Sports promoter Paul Keegan insists, "This is the most important fight in Australia this year."
"If Dennis Hogan wins, his next fight, guaranteed, is for a world title," he adds. "Dennis has everything to lose."
His opponent, Jamie Weetch, from Wales, isn't here to make up the numbers.
"Jamie is World No. 15," stresses Keegan. "His career changes with a win."
Weetch relocated to Australia after a local feud saw him stabbed and shot.
Having fought on the unlicensed circuit in Britain, he went the legitimate route Down Under and had his first official pro bout five years ago.
Last year, Weetch (12-2, 5 KOs) won the IBF Pan Pacific super welterweight title. Kildare man Hogan holds the WBO Inter-Continental title.
In Ireland, he'd been part of a golden age of amateur boxers that won three medals at the Beijing Olympics. But it had been Hogan's misfortune to come up against Olympian Kenny Egan.
When job prospects took him on the emigration trail, Dennis switched to the pro game.
He had his first pro fight in Australia in 2011 and found the success that sees him within touching distance of a world title fight.
"For the last eight years I've played the long game," says Hogan (27-1-1, 7 KOs). "I said I'd do whatever it takes to become world champion. This is another step on the road. I'll do what I must to get the win. I'll get the win and move on."
Weetch believes he can deny Hogan, saying, "I'm just going to bulldog him. I'm going to knock him out to win. They've underestimated me."
While Hogan has the advantage in terms of height, reach and experience, Weetch is adamant he's in it to win it.
"This is my world title fight," he says. "Dennis is a massive test for me. I've not overlooked him. He's my best opponent to date. I've come here to do the business."
Hogan's coach Glenn Rushton welcomes the threat Weetch brings.
"I've said to Dennis, "You're going to have to fight world-ranked opponents every fight. We don't want easy fights. Jamie's a tough guy and he's prepared well. He'll bring his best, but Dennis is too strong, too experienced and too hungry."
"I know Jamie's tough and this is the fight of his life," says Hogan. "I've got the skills. I'm ticking all the boxes. The power I have at the minute and the ferocity of my punches, I feel they're going to land beautifully and I believe it will be an early night."