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Dennis Hogan – “This is the longest preparation I’ve had for a fight”

 
UNBEATEN Brisbane-based Irishman Dennis Hogan is currently in New York, where the world-rated light middleweight will make his US debut against Jose Rodriguez Berrio. Hogan took time out his busy schedule to talk exclusively with Aus-Boxing’s Dan Smart about his preparation, background and general thoughts about his career.

 
Dan Smart: Dennis, you have the biggest fight in your career coming up in New York in just under a week, how has your preparation been and how do you feel fighting for the first time on US soil?

 
Dennis Hogan: Hey guys, my preparation has been brilliant, this is the longest preparation I’ve had for a fight and couldn’t have gone better, I’ve doubled my strength and my fitness which has gone through the roof, hitting PB’s every week in strength and conditioning. I’ve sparred with the best fighters in the game here in Australia with names like Todd Kidd, Dean Mikelj, Jarrod Fletcher, Jeff Horn and Lenny Zappavigna.

 
I also picked up a couple of great spars while in New York in August too. I had my last spar in Australia last week, ten rounds with Jarrod Fletcher and in a I’m now tapering off I feel I’m jumping out of my skin for the fight.

 
DS: You are scheduled to fight durable Colombian, Jose Rodriguez Berrio. What can you tell us about your opponent?

 
DH: Jose Rodriquez Berrio will be a tough opponent with a 21-6 record and has only lost to the best and with thirteen knockouts on his record we know he’s got the tools to land some punishing shots. I feel when I get in there, and get my distance right and keep a close eye on him, I can start getting rounds in the bank.

 
Come the later part of the fight I know how strong and fit I’ve become, so I’ll be increasing pressure and will be planning on landing some punishing shots of my own.

  
DS: You were born and bred in Ireland, which has a rich history in the sport. How did you come about calling Australia home?

 
DH: I boxed here in Brisbane as an amateur for the Irish team back in 2008 and had a great win. Steve Deller was there that night, we hit it off instantly and offered me a professional contract. I had lived in Brisbane before on a year out in 2006 and loved Brisbane so it all made sense to come back here. I followed my gut instinct and it’s been the best move of my life when I came back in 2011.  

 
DS: Who are some of the biggest influences on your career and who are some of your idols in the sport of boxing?

 
DH: Honestly I wasn’t too keen on watching any boxing other than my own or following anyone in particular. Probably only Ricky Hatton, maybe Joe Calzaghe too. They were excellent fighters with great personalities, that draws me more to a person it seems.

 
DS: For those that don’t know a lot about you, what can you tell us about your background in the sport and the type of fighting style you have?

 
DH: Well I’ve had over 150 amateur bouts, winning various Provincial and National titles in Ireland. I was on the Irish national boxing team with over twenty appearances for Ireland and got to travel a lot with the team picking up two multi nation gold medals. I have boxed on teams alongside Katie Taylor (Olympic winner and three-time world champion)  Jason Quigley (European champion and silver medal in world championships) Paddy Barnes (two Olympic bronze medals) and lots of well credentialed Irish boxers.

 
I always knew I would make a good professional. I like to go many rounds, the longer I’m in there the more I will figure out a boxer. I like to go forward and love to counter so it depends who I’m boxing at the time. I feel I’m well prepared to do both.

 
DS: Any final message for your fans and followers before you board the flight to New York?

 
DH: Yes as always I am deeply grateful to everyone who supports me here in Australia, back in Ireland and everywhere in the world. I’m well aware it’s that support that has got me to where I am today. I will be leaving everything in that ring in New York to make sure I come away with the win for myself, supporters, sponsors, family and team. Will be sporting both my Irish Australian flags proudly on the night.

 
DS: On behalf of Aus-Boxing, Dennis, we thank you very much for your time and we wish you all the very best in New York and in the future.

 
DH: Thank you very much, Dan.

 
 
Photo: Damian Brierty/Visual Delight

 

 

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