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Kildare world-title challenger Hogan appoints Irish boxing legend McCullough as new trainer

The Brisbane-based Kilcullen native will train from McCullough’s American quarters ahead of significant potential fights on US soil.

L: Dennis Hogan, R: Wayne McCullough raises aloft the WBC World bantamweight title.
L: Dennis Hogan, R: Wayne McCullough raises aloft the WBC World bantamweight title.
Image: PA Images (L); INPHO (R)

TWO-TIME WORLD-TITLE CHALLENGER Dennis Hogan has joined forces with Irish-boxing icon Wayne McCullough as he prepares to relaunch his bid for global honours.

As first reported by Irish-boxing.com, Brisbane-based Kilcullen native ‘Hurricane’ Hogan, 35, has appointed ‘The Pocket Rocket’ as his new trainer, parting company with New South Wales-based Glenn Rushton with whom he worked his way towards becoming one of the world’s leading contenders at light-middleweight (154lbs).

Hogan [28-3-1, 7KOs], who has lived in Australia for a decade, will now base his training camps on America’s West Coast where McCullough currently resides. A major factor in his switch is the fact that significant fights await him in the States and he wishes to prepare for them nearer the scene of battle and in a similar timezone.

The Irishman made a name for himself Stateside last year and many boxing fans worldwide believe he should already be a world champion: Hogan was deemed by the vast majority of observers to have bested Mexican star Jaime Munguia [then 32-0, 26KOs] in what would have been a seismic upset on the latter’s home soil in April of 2019, but he came out on the wrong side of one of the most controversial judging decisions of the year.

boxing-charlo-vs-hogan Hogan is embraced by Jermall Charlo following their WBC middleweight world-title bout in December. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

A rematch with Munguia wasn’t forthcoming, and so Hogan took a punt at a middleweight (160lbs) world title, acquitting himself well but losing by seventh-round stoppage to the naturally larger and harder-hitting Jermall Charlo [29-0, 21KOs] at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in December.

‘Hurricane’ is now once more eyeing titles at 154, and will have McCullough in his corner as he seeks to finally get over the line.

The 49-year-old Belfast man enjoyed a storied boxing career both in the amateur and paid ranks, taking Olympic silver at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics before going on to win a WBC bantamweight world title in 1995, becoming the first boxer from Ireland or the UK to become a world champion on Japanese soil.

‘The Pocket Rocket’ remains revered on both sides of the Atlantic for his all-action style and granite chin: he was remarkably never knocked down as a professional despite fighting legends of his era such as Daniel Zaragoza, ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales, Scott Harrison and Oscar Larios (x2).

eric-morales-and-wayne-mccullough-22101999 McCullough lands a right hand on the great Erik Morales. Source: Allsport/INPHO

He retired in 2008 with a record of 27-7 (18KOs).

Nevada Boxing Hall of Famer McCullough owns gyms in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but is yet to cut his teeth as a trainer at the top level, his highest-profile student before Hogan being American Julian Ramirez [16-1, 8KOs] who hasn’t fought since a controversial first defeat in 2016.

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