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No super ending to Martin Rogan's comeback

By Steve Wellings

Martin Rogan was unable to roll back the years in New Zealand yesterday when the Belfast slugger bowed out of the Super 8 heavyweight tournament.

Rogan was eliminated in the quarter-final stages at the fists of experienced Michael Sprott.

Following a crunching knockout loss to Erkan Teper in Germany recently the 43-year-old was battling to save his career in a competition that was similar in format to the Prizefighter he won in 2008.

Despite the Teper setback that left him with a badly broken jaw Rogan showed no ill effects and met Sprott head-on in round one, determined to rough-up the veteran Englishman.

Sprott won the opener but Rogan stormed back with some solid inside work in the second.

He landed hooks to head and body that hurt Sprott and left it all down to the final session.

With both men visibly tiring it seemed that Rogan might have done enough to sneak the decision. After nine minutes of honest endeavour the judges returned scores of 29-29 and 29-28 (twice) to move Sprott on to the semi-final and send an unlucky 'Rogie' back home.

Despite his advancing years Rogan showed his trademark grit and determination, as well as impressive stamina, to leave the local fight fans wanting more.

His appearances on local television have endeared him to the New Zealand fight fraternity who caught a glimpse of the larger-than-life character that lit up the local boxing scene just a few years ago.

Former Commonwealth champion Rogan walked away with a cheque for $7,500 (£3,769) and may have offered enough to convince him to carry on boxing.

Sprott went on to lose in the final by way of a crunching first-round knockout at the hands of ex-world title challenger Kali Meehan.

Earlier in the tournament the career of former world champion Hasim Rahman fell further into ignominy when he lost to novice Anthony Nansen. Prospect Alonzo Butler also exited meekly with the overall standard failing to match the Rogan-Sprott battle.

Belfast Telegraph

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