Hogan has no regrets after stepping up in weight

The Kildare man will drop back down to super-welterweight in his search of an elusive world title

Michael Dorgan in New York

Dennis Hogan has no regrets about making the step up to middleweight following his knock out defeat to WBC world champion Jermall Charlo at the Barclays Center in New York Saturday night.

The unheralded Australian-based fighter comprehensively lost to the undefeated Texan who boasted distinct size, power and strength advantages in the Showtime Sports-televised main event.

Hogan succumbed to a controversial majority point’s decision in his WBO Super Welterweight bout with Jaime Munguia in Mexico last April and when a rematch wasn’t granted, he accepted a move up to 160lbs for his second consecutive world title shot.

Yet while there was little doubt about the result this time around, the Kildare native lost little in defeat for a gutsy performance.

“When this opportunity came I thought, ‘do I really want to be doing this, there’s an unknown there,’ but you could be going for an eliminator somewhere else and who knows how long that could take.

“Even if you’re mandatory [challenger] it can take a year and a half and I didn’t know whether I wanted to take the fight or sit around and wait 15 weeks so I dare to be great.”

Hogan began promisingly with one judge awarding him the opening two rounds in a standoffish affair.

Still, Hogan was finding it hard to penetrate the six-footer’s clear height and reach advantage and “The Hitman” soon began discovering his range.

12 seconds into round four a thunderous left hook turned uppercut sent the Kilcullen man into a backward somersault leaving his right foot entangled in the ropes.

Dazed, Hogan made it to his feet for an eight count but a buoyed Charlo suddenly ramped up the ante in search for the finisher.

To his credit, the 34-year-old regained his composure and swerved the onslaught with some smart defensive work.

Hogan fought on gallantly but by round five Charlo looked in complete control and it was looking increasingly difficult to see how he could inflict any meaningful damage on the 29-year-old who looked more assured in every department – mixing it up with sharp jabs, his signature uppercut and powerful left hooks.

Hogan was less accurate too landing only 71 of 418 (17 percent) to Charlo’s 86 of 266 punches (32 percent) which also sapped the Irishman’s energy levels.

The vocal Irish crowd did their best to rejuvenate Hogan but by round seven Charlo ended proceedings in devastating fashion.

A smart feint forced Hogan to reach for a counter, but it only served to lower his guard just enough for Charlo to pounce with a flooring left hook right on the nose.

“The Hurricane” climbed to his feet but couldn’t muster another storm and a sideways stumble forced the official to call time 28 seconds in – Hogan’s first-ever stoppage in 32 professional bouts.

“I wanted to keep going but the decision was fair enough by the referee” said a bitterly disappointed Hogan afterward.

“I didn’t see the punch coming on the second knockdown. I was trying to keep boxing him but then all of a sudden I was on the ground and the fight was over.”

“You just feel that strength, that strength was something you don’t feel in a 154-pound division.”

“It was different and those times he caught me were just like lightning, I had no idea both times.”

“That was brand new to me and I’m OK with it. All props to Charlo, he’s a phenomenal fighter and I can see why he’s having problems getting fights in the 160 division.”

Charlo dedicated his 30th pro victory to his daughter, Journey, who was born last month and rougher waters lie ahead with Canelo Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin and Demetrious Andrade holding the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, respectively.

Although he’ll turn 35 in March, Hogan has no plans to retire and revealed Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza has guaranteed him a super-welterweight fight when he’s ready.

“I can’t see me giving up, I had no plans before and I have no plans now so I’ll go rest up and turn off my brain for four weeks, I trained extremely hard for this, it’s just crazy the amount of work I did.

“I deserve a bit of luck, the amount of things that have gone the opposite way for me, but that’s the way my story usually goes but I do get there, and persistence is a key I surely have so I’ll keep sticking with that.”

“I feel like I’ve got everything ready to go for the next one.”

“I know I have to get back down to 154 and pursue my dream of being world champion.”

“There’s one more go in me and 154 is where it’s at.”