Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Rogan knew he could only last eight rounds

As Martin Rogan weighs up his future, there are growing concerns as to whether he should have been passed to box Commonwealth heavyweight champion Sam Sexton on Friday night.

Rogan retired on his stool after six exciting rounds and was later taken to hospital to have scans on a back injury which, according to coach Paul McCullagh, had been present throughout his preparation.

“He never sparred a round,” revealed McCullagh who added: “We knew before the fight we only had seven or eight rounds.”

Furthermore, McCullagh suggested that Rogan has been told “he needs an operation to correct it”.

John Campbell of the Northern Ireland Area Council of the British Boxing Board of Control admitted he was “very surprised by those comments”.

Despite the injury, Rogan almost had Sexton away in the fifth round as the champion reeled from a ferocious onslaught but in the sixth he had little left to offer.

Now he must nurse his wounds and decide whether or not he can return to the ring in his 39th year and climb back to the top.

McCullagh added: “He doesn't want to pack it in, he's very adamant he wants to fight on. He didn't want to let his fans down, he loves them. He did the best he could.”

Rogan's career has certainly been a roller coaster, from taxi driver to champion and the best crowd puller since McGuigan.

The 8,000 fans who packed into the Odyssey proved to be the biggest in the Province since Barry McGuigan's King's Hall days and there was 2,500 in Magherafelt for Paul McCloskey's European title fight at the same time.

Council secretary Campbell said: “I think promoters now realise that we have a real hotbed for boxing and I am very confident that we are going to have many more big shows in the future.

“To have two shows on in the one night and to have that response from the public is just tremendous.”

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