The voice behind New Zealand and Australia combat sports, master of ceremonies Lt. Dan Hennessey, has called it quits on his 18-year international MC career after announcing the wrong name of the winner following a world title fight.

Hennessey has announced on social media that he will be retiring from his MC role after the controversy of announcing the wrong winner on May 12, in Perth, Australia. After the fight between Cherneka Johnson and Nina Hughes, Hennessey mistakenly declared Hughes the winner, only to quickly read the correct scorecards, leading to a rapid reversal in emotions for both combatants.

The worldwide reaction to the gaffe was swift and severe.

Hennessey said his final fight night will now happen in New Plymouth on a Sam Rapira boxing show.

“I love all the support from everyone,” said Hennessy. “Thank you all for the kind words. Unfortunately, the worldwide backlash is absolutely incredible and it's effecting [affecting] my mental health to a degree where I will have one more show. I am doing this show because I am still a man of my word and promised Sam Rapira that I would do it because he is a great mate and I refuse to leave him hanging. 

“I love and will keep in touch with all my friends from around the world. Thank you. No longer the world’s punching bag. I'm out”

Earlier in the week, Hennessey made a public apology, claiming full fault for his mistake. 

“I own it. It’s all on me. I take full responsibility… Me. I have apologized to all involved and now I apologize to you. I am sorry for what happened. Again, I own it and can only try and do better next time. Not my best day in the office. I guess all the shitty comments on socials I have coming. Again I am crushed and sorry for my shitstorm of a performance. You all deserved better. Sorry again.”

Hennessey joined the United States Marine Corps in 1991, where he gained the rank of Lieutenant and became known as Lt. Dan. He moved to New Zealand in 1998 to become a Club DJ. 

Sky TV hired Hennessey as a commentator in 2003, mainly focusing on basketball for the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL). The biggest accomplishment of his commentating career was being the head commentator for the FIBA Under 19's world champ in 2012. 

He was introduced into the Combat Sports role in 2006, announcing the World Grand Prix K1 in New Zealand. Hennessey would have the breakout moment of his boxing career when he announced David Tua vs Shane Cameron on Duco Events in 2009, which at the time was the biggest pay-per-view in New Zealand history. 

Hennessey went on to announce David Tua’s last four fights, and the majority of Joseph Parker’s contests.

Hennessey's combat sport announcing career has taken him to all parts of the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Singapore, and back home to the USA. In retrospect, the mistake Hennessey made with the Johnson-Hughes world title fight was a rare mistake, but enough to end his career.