By Terence Dooley
Martin Rogan has told boxing-ireland.com that his mooted fight with Tyson Fury at Belfast’s Kings Hall on September 17th has fallen apart due to a row over money and Rogie’s dissatisfaction over the manner in which the negotiations were said to be held.
Rogan is the natural choice for Fury’s Belfast showcase; the former Commonwealth heavyweight titlist holds wins over David Dolan, Audley Harrison and Matt Skelton. The 40-year-old shot to prominence during the inaugural Prizefighter: The Heavyweights tournament back in 2008, he is a big name on the Irish boxing circuit.
Belfast’s finest has registered two wins since losing a brace of contests, and his Commonwealth crown, to Sam Sexton in 2009. Rogan told Alex McGeevy that he did not appreciate the way in which Mick Hennessy, Fury’s promoter, has handled the negotiations.
“Mick Hennessy should be ashamed of himself for allowing hangers-on and middle-men come to my door to represent him and his company. They wanted Martin Rogan but they didn’t get him because they didn’t speak to Martin Rogan’s manager, who is Martin Rogan. They didn’t speak to the boxer Martin Rogan. They didn’t speak to anyone called Martin Rogan,” blasted Rogan.
“I have had offers of £40,000 and £50,000 and nothing anywhere near £80,000. So if Fury’s people are saying it was £80,000, why was I being offered less?” he fumed when discussing the monetary terms.
However, the 14-2 (7) fight left the door open for a call from Mick. “Here’s the truth that the Irish fight fans should know; Hennessy wanted me and only me to fight Fury, so he booked the King’s Hall and took it for granted I would accept. Anytime a middle-man came to my door or called my number I sent him away with a message to tell Mick Hennessy to call me.
“Mick didn’t contact me until August 10, so he was trying to give me as little notice as possible to prepare. I am nobody’s fool and the Irish fight fans should not be fooled by this carnival behind Fury. They have made it a sideshow; they have insulted me and tried to undermine me. They have tried to make my supporters believe I am money-motivated. If I was motivated by money, I would have taken the fight. My only motivation is to take the belts off Fury; the money will look after itself after that.”
Fury won the British and Commonwealth straps by decisioning bitter domestic rival Dereck Chisora last month. Although the 15-0 (10) boxer was born in Manchester, Tyson’s Irish ancestry is a source of pride for the 6’ 9’’ contender. A fight with Rogan would set the Kings Hall alight and it is one well worth salvaging, with the money allegedly on offer, not to mention the lure of those titles, representing a fair offer from Hennessy and one that Rogan should seriously consider as it could lead to a memorable night in Belfast.
Please send news and views to [email protected]