Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Rogan gets Odyssey date en route to world title shot

Martin Rogan will return to the ring on May 9 in Belfast.

The newly-crowned Commonwealth heavyweight champion is expected to top the bill at the Odyssey Arena, following on from his stunning stoppage victory over Matt Skelton.

Rogan had hoped to box for the vacant European heavyweight title after Skelton was stripped due to his defeat at the hands of the Belfast man ten days ago in Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena. But it seems that the European Boxing Union are set to allow challenger Alexander Dimitrenko to clash with Alexander Povetkin for the title.

Consequently, Rogan will make a defence of the Commonwealth title and promoter Frank Warren says this will be just the next stage of him leading the 37-year-old taxi driver to a world title shot.

Warren said: “My plan is to bring a world heavyweight title fight to Belfast, simple as that.

“Martin has proved me wrong and an awful lot of other people wrong as well, and after two wars he deserves to get as much money out of the game as possible and he deserves a crack at the world title.

“His fight with Skelton was one of the best heavyweight fights I’ve ever seen and his story is just incredible.

“The Belfast public have someone to be very proud of and he knows just how far he can go.”

Warren says that he wouldn’t rule out a clash with British boxing’s glamour boy David Haye, whose world title fight with Wladimir Klitschko has still to be signed and sealed.

“I wouldn’t worry about putting Martin in against either of those two. Could you imagine Haye standing up to the big bombs that Martin landed on Skelton? I don’t think so.

“And what a fight that would be for British boxing. All credit to Martin because he has placed himself in a great position.”

While Rogan can look forward to his Belfast date in May, Wayne McCullough is left wondering when he will be out again after his fight on March 16 was cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

Limerick middleweight star Andy Lee was to have topped the show at Madison Square Garden’s Theatre arena but now he will look to face former world champion Antwun Echols on a different date.

Fresh from his second pro victory on Friday night in Wigan, Olympic bronze medallist Darren Sutherland should be boxing again in May in Dublin.

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