Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Rogan enjoys taste of big time

Commonwealth champion Martin Rogan and wife Fiona are enjoying his success

Martin Rogan has been enjoying the fame game this week but knows the serious business of training for his first defence is not far away.

The new Commonwealth heavyweight champion has always enjoyed the spotlight but is quick to acknowledge that it cannot get in the way of him fulfilling his potential.

“Five different radio stations from down south where on to me on the Monday wanting to talk about the fight,” says Rogan over a cup of tea and in between feeding six-month old baby boy Reuben.

“It’s been an incredible week. I’ve had about 500 text messages on my phone and I only know about 100 of them!

“It’s honestly been like watching a film only it’s for real because you’re the one in it. One thing it has made me feel is sorry for celebrities. It has given me an idea, just imagining what it must be like.

“This is only small compared to what big celebrities go through but it must be very tough if you’re getting attention every day and you can’t get time for yourself.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to give people an autograph and whatever but there is a time when you need a break and I have to remember that the business I’m in is a very serious and dangerous one.

“I’ll have a bit of time off, maybe go away for a few days and then start training again because I have to be ready for whenever I’m told the first defence is on.”

The 37-year-old taxi driver has certainly captured the public’s imagination with his no-nonsense style, sharp wit and ability to defy the odds and now he looks forward to either a European title shot or defence of the Commonwealth title in Belfast.

Looking back on Saturday night, Rogan revealed how from the third round he felt the tide turning his way in a memorable ferocious battle in Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena which ended with his dramatic 11th round stoppage.

Rogan said: “The third round was a tough round, he caught me with some good shots, probably his best and I took them and came right back at him.

“He tried to bully me, tried to show me from the first bell that he could dominate me but I wouldn’t let him and I think that shocked him and then after the third I started to get on top.

“I actually thought it should have been stopped in the eighth round but the referee gave him every chance and to be fair to him he wasn’t going to give up his title easily. He showed a lot of heart.”

A hero’s welcome wherever he goes is what greets Rogan and the attention is only going to increase as promoter Frank Warren seeks to plot a path towards a world title fight.

Warren, who had Rogan at the start of his career, admitted that he didn’t believe the Belfast man could beat Audley Harrison or Skelton but now believes he can help fulfil his dream of a world title shot.

The Odyssey Arena or King’s Hall will be rocking, probably in May, when Rogan marches to the ring and 12 months from now who knows what might be on the horizon.

“I know that I can fight for the world title and Frank Warren is the man to give me my chance at the big one. Croke Park in front of 90,000 people sounds good to me.”

It certainly does and no doubt he would stop to sign an autograph for every one of them.

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