AUSTRALIAN middleweight champion Dennis ‘Hurricane’ Hogan remained undefeated but barely held onto his title on Sunday afternoon with a closer than expected unanimous decision victory against a game ‘Bad Bad’ Leroy Brown at a lively Irish Club in Brisbane.
Brown, 27, came in with a walk-forward style that made it difficult for Hogan (17-0-1, 6 KOs) to dictate the fight, as the Australian champion struggled to connect with any firm authority on a majority of his punches. Brown (now 11-6-1, 5 KOs) kept Hogan off balance much of the fight and seemed to often get his punches off first, relying on a strong, piston-like jab that seemed to puzzle the champion, who to his credit, showed a remarkable ability to trade and box on the back foot.
To the surprise of many including the defending champion, Hogan was not the aggressor and had to fight tooth and nail, but he managed to pull out an entertaining unanimous decision against a rejuvenated Brown, who did not look like a fighter returning after twelve months on the sidelines.
From the beginning of the bout, onwards, Brown appeared to be the faster fighter. Hogan just seemed like he was the fighter who was able to land most of his significant shots, but it was clear that Brown was refusing to just go away. With a mix of inside fighting as well as some ugly moments, Hogan showed the grit and determination of a champion that not only draws bumper crowds, but wins exciting fights.
Hogan showed his experience, spinning Brown into the neutral corner multiple times, while frustrating the challenger with his crafty inside-fighting. While Brown was able to disrupt any natural pattern Hogan was trying to form, it appeared the early-to-mid rounds were very much up for grabs.
An expected patriotic and partizan crowd cheered the Kildare-born Irish product from both sides of the bell and after ten rounds of boxing – they knew their charge had been pushed all the way.
After ten closely fought rounds, the judges scored the bout 98-92 twice and 97-93 in favour of Hogan, 29, who successfully defended his recently acquired crown for the second time. Aus-Boxing scored the fight 96-94 in favour of Hogan, but with that said, an argument would not be made for a draw or the opposite scoreline in favour of Brown, who left the ring with another loss but a tonne of admiration.
It was announced on various networks that Hogan, like successful stablemate Jarrod Fletcher will be heading abroad to fight next, with America touted as a potential next destination. As for Brown, he’s scheduled to face-off with highly regarded prospect Renold Quinlan on the Mundine vs. Clottey undercard next month.
Image: NJI Photography