Kildare native Dennis "Hurricane" Hogan has received support in his bid for a world title shot from Australia’s only current world champion ahead of the WBO eliminator that could decide his future.
WBO welterweight champ Jeff Horn says there is no reason Hogan can’t emulate his performance when he ripped the world championship belt from the waist of eight-division world champion and pound-for-pound stalwart Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last July.
But first Hogan is going to have to get past world number seven Yuki Nonaka from Japan, who he faces in a decider for the super welterweight number two spot at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane on October 14.
Hogan (32) moved to Brisbane seven years ago to pursue his professional career and his only defeat to date was a points loss to WBA champion Jack Culcay in the latter's native Germany in 2015.
"Dennis impresses me with his work ethic and his strength as a boxer," says Horn, who trains alongside 'The Hurricane' at Stretton Boxing Club.
"He can definitely emulate what I have done, being ranked number six himself.
"Dennis just needs to fight hard and win every round as it goes. Hard work and belief was my key to success.
"It is extremely important to have a strong team behind you who you can trust."
Hogan is optimistic he can beat the veteran Japanese fighter (31-8-3) and secure another shot at a belt.
Thirty-nine-year-old Nonaka is ranked in the top 15 of all four major sanctioning bodies and undefeated in eight years but has never fought outside of his native Japan.
"Nonaka is a slick, elusive counterpuncher, but I’m used to that style," said Hogan, who has a professional record of 25-1-1 with 7 knockouts. "I do very well against guys like that so I’m very confident going in.
"As an amateur, I was light heavyweight champion of Ireland so I got used to boxing guys taller than me. It’s all about nullifying him, frustrating him, breaking him down and making him do what we want him to do, then we’ll catch him."
"I’ll have youth on my side, I’ll have aggression on my side and I’ll be ready to go all out for the full 10 rounds."