Dennis Hogan will apparently be a game time decision on Wednesday.
For now, the former two-division title challenger remains on course for his highly anticipated showdown with unbeaten contender Tim Tszyu. Both boxers made weight for their crossroads bout, which airs live on Australia Main Event Pay-Per-View from Newcastle Entertainment Centre in Newcastle, Australia.
Sydney’s Tszyu (17-0, 13KOs) checked in at pounds. Hogan (28-3-1, 7KOs)—from Newstead, Australia by way of Kildare, Ireland—weighed pounds.
The fight was jeopardized when Hogan raised the issue over event handlers discouraging from wearing any clothing branding PointsBet, a sports betting outlet which is the boxer’s primary sponsor. No Limit Boxing, the event promoter claimed the matter as a conflict with the show’s preferred gambling partner SportsBet.
Hogan agreed to remove a T-shirt branding the company’s logo during Monday’s pre-fight press conference, though not accommodating on Tuesday. The 32-year-old boxer sported a pair of sweats bearing the PointsBet brand and insists that he will enter the ring with the brand prominently displayed on his fight trunks.
The issue remains unresolved though the sense is that it won’t be a dealbreaker come fight night.
Tszyu enters following two notable knockouts since the pandemic. The second-generation boxer stopped former welterweight titlist Jeff Horn inside of eight brutally one-sided rounds last August before needing less than a round to take care of Bowyn Morgan last December.
Hogan was considered unfortunate to land on the wrong end of a 12-round majority decision defeat to then-junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia in April 2019. A second chance at a major title resulted in his falling well short in a 7th round stoppage to Jermall Charlo in Dec. 2019, Hogan’s most recent bout to date.
Also on Wednesday’s show is a third fight between middle-aged former titlists Sakio Bika and Sam Soliman.
Bika (34-7-3, 22KOs), 41, weighed 167.2 pounds for his first fight since Oct. 2017, while Soliman, 47, (46-14-1, 19KOs) hit the scale at a fighting light 163.75 pounds for his first bout since April 2019.
The two split a pair of fights long before arriving on the title stage.
Soliman scored an upset 12-round win over a then-unbeaten Bika (10-0 at the time) in their Oct. 2002 meeting, with Bika—a Cameroon-born former super middleweight titlist based out of Australia—avenging the defeat via eight-round decision in Oct. 2007, as part of season three of “The Contender” boxing series in Los Angeles.
Bika went on to win the reality series, though it would be another six years before he would earn a title as he claimed the WBC super middleweight belt with a 12-round win over Marco Antonio Periban. The reign lasted just 14 months, fighting Anthony Dirrell to a draw before conceding the belt in their Aug. 2014 rematch. He has since dropped a 12-round decision to then-lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson before winning his last two starts though the last of which came more than three years ago.
Soliman came up aces in his third title attempt.
Two losses to countryman Anthony Mundine—both at super middleweight—prompted a drop down to middleweight, where the Melbourne native claimed a 12-round unanimous decision win over Felix Sturm in May 2014. Their rematch came more nearly 16 months after Soliman had to give back a win after testing positive for a banned substance in their Feb. 2013 title eliminator, though coming up clean and victorious to win the IBF middleweight belt. Soliman lost the title in his first defense, a 12-round decision defeat to Jermain Taylor in Oct. 2014.
Both bouts will serve as a five-fight PPV telecast.
Tim Tszyu (17-0, 13KOs), 152.75 pounds vs. Dennis Hogan (28-3-1, 7KOs), 153 pounds—10 rounds, junior middleweight
Wade Ryan (17-9, KOs), 153.2 pounds vs. Koen Mazoudler (8-1), 152.8 pounds—10
Paul Fleming (26-0-1, KOs), 129.3 pounds vs. Tyson Lantry (8-3, 3KOs), 128.9 pounds—10 rounds, junior lightweight
Sakio Bika (34-7-3, 22KOs), 167.2 pounds vs. Sam Soliman (46-14-1, 19KOs), 163.75 pounds—8 rounds, super middleweight
Cesar Mateo Tapia (12-0, 7KOs), 167.2 pounds vs. Renold Quinlan (12-7, 8KOs), 165.2 pounds—10 rounds, super middleweight
Darkon Dryden (3-0, 3KOs), 153.6 pounds vs. Jason Medwar (1-0, 1KOs), 152.5 pounds—4 rounds, junior middleweight
Linn Sandstrom (0-1), 112.3 vs. Felicity Loiterton (debut), 112.5 pounds—4 rounds, flyweight
Jason Fawcett (debut), 152.5 pounds vs. Alex Carioti. 153.75 pounds —4 rounds, junior middleweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox