Dennis Hogan has been forced to sit on a disputed points loss to Jaime Munguia for nearly eight months, though he’s also put that time to plenty of good use as well.
The former junior middleweight title contender will return to the middleweight division for the first time in more than five years as he challenges unbeaten 160-pound titlist Jermall Charlo (29-0, 21KOs), who attempts the second defense of his title. The bout takes place this Saturday, live on Showtime from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, marking his third shot at a title of sorts but first outside of junior middleweight.
“It’s not a big difference,” Hogan (28-2-1, 7KOs) said of the move from 154 to 160 during a recent media conference call to discuss the fight. “In terms of strength, we’ve been able to keep my muscle building stage, my strength stage at the start of camp a little longer.
“I had a lot of time for this fight. We were able to keep that going for a long time.”
Hogan—a 34-year old from Queensland, Australia by way of Kildare, Ireland—hasn’t fought since a 12-round defeat to Munguia (34-0, 27KOs) in their junior middleweight title fight this past April in Monterrey, Mexico. Most observers believed Hogan had done enough to win, only to have to settle for a bitter majority decision defeat.
Efforts to secure a rematch proved futile, as did a targeted junior middleweight title eliminator versus Erickson Lubin, prompting a move up the scale and for the eight-plus year ring veteran a return to a more comfortable weight. Hogan turned pro in 2011 as a light heavyweight, slowly working his way down the scale before settling into a middleweight frame by the end of his rookie year.
All but one of Hogan’s seven career knockouts have taken place at middleweight or heavier, though all versus relative non-descript competition. The scrappy Irishman is known more for his grit than his power, although the effects of his extended training camp have him feeling like he can cause damage on Saturday.
“That’s what I needed because it’s not about having to dehydrate so much,” Hogan said of the weight process. “I feel good doing it and am ready to perform very well.
“I’ve always wondered, do I punch as hard as I used to when I was at middleweight before. On Saturday night we’re going to find out for sure.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox