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

The Kilcullen light-middleweight has been propelled into the world title picture after a career-best display.

KILDARE LIGHT-MIDDLEWEIGHT Dennis Hogan took a massive step towards a world title shot in 2018 with a career-best performance and victory versus Japanese veteran Yuki Nonaka in Brisbane.

The Australia-based Kilcullen man, a stablemate and sparring partner of WBO welterweight champ and Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff Horn, coasted to a unanimous-decision win in the city’s Convention & Exhibition Centre this afternoon (Irish time).

Making his return to action after 11 months under both a new promoter in Paul Keegan and new trainer in Glenn Rushton, ‘Hurricane’ Hogan dominated the contest from start to finish, snapping Nonaka’s 13-fight undefeated run which had stretched back to 2009.

Ranked sixth by the WBO prior to the contest, Hogan will now likely rise further up the organisation’s ladder, and will be considered a prime candidate to fight for the soon-to-be-vacant WBO World light-middleweight title early next year.

The current champion, Miguel Cotto, has confirmed that he is to retire following a farewell bout versus Sadam Ali in December, while two of the division’s top three contenders, Liam Smith and Liam Williams – both from England – will rematch for heir-to-the-throne status next month.

The winner of that clash will likely fight for Cotto’s strap when the Puerto Rican future Hall-of-Famer steps away from the sport, and it’s not unlikely that their opponent will be the 32-year-old Hogan, whose impressive victory will propel him into the title picture.

The judges scored the 10-round contest 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91 in the Irishman’s favour. Hogan’s record improves to 26-1(7KOs).

Gavin Cooney
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‘The dream is to defend the belt in Ireland’: Kildare export Hogan within touching distance of world title

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