Boxing


Sam Sexton Stops Martin Rogan In Dramatic 8th Round Upset Win!

Martin Roganby James Slater - Last night, at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, the amazing run of success for 38-year-old Martin Rogan came to and end, as he was stopped on an horrific eye injury by underdog Sam Sexton. Northern Ireland's Rogan, who was making the first defence of his commonwealth heavyweight crown, had trouble all night with the speed of the 24-year-old from Norwich. The action was great to watch, and the 8th and final round must surely go down as something very special indeed.

Knowing he had to do something big and in quick time due to his left eye swelling completely shut from the 6th round on, Rogan came on strong and almost had Sexton out. The champion amazingly let Sexton off the hook, however, as he stopped throwing punches when the challenger, in dire trouble and ready to go, signalled that he had lost his mouth-piece. Rogan, for some reason - perhaps astonishingly good sportsmanship, perhaps inexperience - stopped throwing leather and almost certainly allowed Sexton to recover.

Moments later, referee Dave Parris called a second time-out so as to let the doctor look at Rogan's balloon of a left eye, and on this occasion, upon seeing that the 38-year-old could not see at all out of his damaged eye, the fight was stopped. The official time was 2 minutes and 37-seconds of the 8th round, and Sexton improved to 12-1(5) as he snatched the Commonwealth title. Rogan lost for the first time and fell to 12-1(6).

Going into last night's fight that saw two "Prize Fighter" tournament winners colliding, most picked the older man to win, likely by a KO. Sexton, who is not known as a puncher, ripped up the script instead. Boxing smartly pretty much throughout the good action, Sexton fired out a crisp left jab, he paid attention to defence well by way of a tight guard and he used good movement to make Rogan miss. Timing his man well, Sexton was able to catch the onrushing Rogan as he came at him. On occasion, the once-beaten 24-year-old also switched to southpaw, which appeared to further confuse the Irish tough guy.

Sexton showed how dangerous he could be in the 2nd round, as he hurt Rogan with a right hand to the head. Bigger, younger and faster, Sexton made it clear his right hand to the head was a real weapon. It wasn't until the 6th round that the champion really managed to hurt Sexton. Two sharp rights upstairs stunned the younger man, and he had to hold on. Rogan piled on the pressure, but Sexton got through the mini-crisis and made it to the bell. It was now that Rogan's eye was visibly swelling up. Also, right at the end of the 6th, Sexton went down, the tumble was not called a knockdown, though, and rightly so.

An initial time-out was called for in the 7th, for the doctor to inspect "Rogie's" battered left eye. The fight was allowed to continue, much to the delight of the pro-Rogan crowd, but not for too much longer. A big right hand slammed into the champion's head and he was badly hurt. Almost frozen in his tracks, Rogan was in real trouble. Under more pressure in the dying seconds of the session, the gritty warrior heard the bell. A huge round for Sexton.

The 8th round, as reported above, was full of real drama. A left hook to the head shook Sexton badly and he was all over the place with Rogan in hot pursuit. A right and a left to the head crashed home for the champion and it looked as though he had pulled out an incredible win. But then, inexplicably - when it looked for all the world as though Sexton was one punch away from being KO'd - Rogan backed off as the challenger lost his gum-shield! This segment of action will no doubt be discussed and argued about for some time to come.

In any case, the second time-out was called, the doctor knew full well Rogan could not see out of his left eye, and the fight was stopped with 23-seconds left of an amazing 8th round.

What both men do next will be interesting indeed, but a rematch would not be a bad idea at all.

Article posted on 16.05.2009



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