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Kildare's Hogan confirmed to fight English rival in final step towards world title shot

Victory for the Kilcullen man will set him up for a title shot versus the winner of Sadam Ali and Liam Smith.

Image: AAP/PA Images

KILDARE LIGHT-MIDDLEWEIGHT DENNIS Hogan will fight Manchester’s Jimmy Kelly in a de facto world title eliminator on 7 April.

The WBO number four-ranked light-middleweight, who hails from Kilcullen, will welcome the fifth-ranked Kelly to his adopted hometown of Brisbane in what will likely amount to a battle to face the winner of a mooted scrap between new WBO World champion Sadam Ali and Liverpool’s Liam Smith.

The WBO intercontinental title will be on the line at the Brisbane Convention Centre, though this is largely irrelevant given the spoils which potentially await the winner in three months’ time.

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‘Hurricane’ Hogan (26-1-1, 7KOs) produced a career-best display in soundly defeating the eight-year unbeaten Japanese veteran Yuki Nonaka in October.

Kelly (23-1, 9KOs) has won seven straight since suffering his sole career defeat to Liam Smith in an all-Lancashire clash for the WBO world title in December of 2015.

The Mancunian, whose family originally hail from Carlow and Kilkenny, is seven years Hogan’s junior at 25.

His middle name is Kilrain, inspired by 19th-century bareknuckle boxer Jake Kilrain.

Hogan emigrated to Australia in 2011 and has garnered a significant following Down Under. He suffered his only loss on points to Jack Culcay for the WBA world title in Wilhelmsburg, Germany just over two years ago.

Kildare’s Hogan ends Nonaka’s eight-year undefeated run in style to close in on world title shot

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