Boxing


Martin Rogan Sparring Kevin Johnson Ahead Of Sam Sexton Fight

by James Slater - Undefeated heavyweight contender Martin Rogan of Northern Ireland is now a big player in the weight class. Barely even heard of a year ago, the 37-year-old burst onto the U.K scene with his against the odds triumph in promoter Barry Hearn's "Prize Fighter" tournament. Then, in seeing off former Olympian Audley Harrison AND Matt Skelton - even managing to become the first man to stop "The Bedford Bear" - Rogan made something of a name for himself among U.S fight fans..

A truly wonderful story that has kept fans interested, people want to see just how far the 12-0(6) 37-year-old can go. "Rogie," also nicknamed "The Entertainer" due to his all-action and fan-friendly style of fighting, wants to become world heavyweight champion. And though his reaching that level would be the greatest achievement and the biggest surprise of his now three-and-a-half-year career, no-one can write off the gutsy warrior's chances.

Next up for Rogan is a fight against 24-year-old Sam Sexton, 11-1(4), in a bout that will headline a show at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. Happy to be defending his Commonwealth title in front of Irish fans, Rogan hopes to get a much bigger fight afterwards. Indicative of how seriously Rogan is taking his career and of how far up a level he has come just recently, is the fact that his sparring partner for the May 15th fight is unbeaten U.S heavyweight contender Kevin "King Pin" Johnson.

Frank Warren's official website has reported how the two unbeaten big men have been working together, and Rogan says the sessions have been, "tasty." Indeed, both men are mightily ambitious and if the two were to meet up in a real fight the fans would be divided as to who would win.

29-year-old Johnson of Atlanta - who has a fight scheduled for the day after Rogan fights, against veteran Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett - will surely have been paid well for his services. But for Team-Rogan, who believe their man can go all the way, the money has been well spent. As with many of us, it's likely Johnson, 21-0-1(8) had never heard of the part-time actor and taxi driver a few months back. Yet now he is going bang at it with Rogan in the gym.

Rogan spoke about how good and hard the sparring sessions have been.

"Things are going great in sparring, it's certainly pretty tasty," Rogan said. "Kevin doesn't hold anything back, but then neither do I. And knowing some of the guys he's worked with, it's really increased my confidence. I did quality sparring ahead of the [Matt] Skelton fight as well and it showed.

"I'll need to be in great shape for the Sexton fight because I've been reading what he's been saying in the papers, and by all accounts he's coming to fight."

Doubtless the ultra-confident Johnson would claim he got the better of Rogan in the sparring sessions if you asked him, and maybe he has been doing so. Maybe, one day down the road, the two men WILL meet for real?

Article posted on 28.04.2009



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