An emotional Dennis Hogan says winning the IBO super welterweight title will finally erase all lingering heartache from his 2019 loss to Mexican superstar Jaime Munguia – a fight almost the entire boxing world agrees was a cruel championship robbery.
In a Main Event Podcast interview where he was almost brought to tears, Hogan revealed he was ready to “banish some demons” in Saturday’s showdown against reigning British world champ Sam Eggington.
Despite three unsuccessful world title attempts – and a tough, stoppage loss to Tim Tszyu that threatened his career last year – the adopted Aussie is now looking for the ultimate redemption story at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
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Ironically, the 37-year-old Irishman is returning to the same venue where he suffered his devastating loss to Tszyu last year.
Hogan admitted that after the Tszyu defeat, a friend sat him down and asked exactly how much longer he planned to fight – “which was like a punch to the heart” – before he then decided on one more title tilt.
“I said let’s give it one more run,” Hogan recalls. “You lose, you’re done and you’ve got no regrets.”
Quizzed on returning to the venue of his Tszyu loss, and the consecutive wins over Tommy Browne and Wade Ryan since, Hogan continued: “We can really banish some demons.
“What a turnaround from 18 months ago, questioning where my career was at – What can I do? Can I improve? – to winning a world championship in the exact same place.
“It does feel like destiny to me. Fate.”
Back in 2019, the now Queensland-based fighter appeared to have fulfilled his lifetime goal when he went the distance in a thriller with unbeaten WBO super welterweight champ Munguia.
Despite going into the bout as a massive underdog, and with many experts expecting him to get bashed, Hogan shocked the world – with virtually everyone except two ringside judges giving him the win.
A third judge scored the fight a draw.
“When they called out the result, it didn’t feel real,” Hogan recalls. “It still felt like I’d won.
“In my heart, I had just won a world title.
“I had proved it to myself which is more important than anything.
“But then after the fight adrenaline wore off … that’s when it kicked in hard.
“It was like ‘you still don’t have the belt’.
“It was ‘Ok we have to do it again’. And I really wasn’t looking forward to that … but I was willing to.”
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Which brings us to Eggington.
“He’s been European champion, British champion, Commonwealth champion and now he’s the world champion … he’s pretty much done everything,” Hogan said.
“But he’s also lost.
“And I know I want that belt more than him.”