By David Finger
If last Thursday’s international media conference call was any indication, there are not too many people in boxing who are really giving Dennis Hogan much of a chance as he takes on the popular Mexican slugger Jaime Munguia on April 13 in Monterrey Mexico.
Munguia himself even seemed a bit frustrated with the frequent question he was getting relating to a possible match-up with fellow DAZN superstar Gennady Golovkin. Early in the press conference he was asked who he would like to fight after April 13th. Munguia proceeded to answer as every world class fighter does when given a loaded question that all but asks him to look past his opponent. He punted.
“I have no one in mind right now. I’m simply going to keep fighting, keep fighting good opponents like Dennis Hogan. That’s a question for my promoter Fernando Beltran.”
Nonetheless press row was refusing to take no for an answer and the very next question for Munguia was how he thought he’d do if he fought Triple-G last year as opposed to now.
“Look, I don’t know,” Munguia replied, “I can say that I have the mentality of going forward and always feeling that I will get my hand raised in victory, so I feel I would have won, but nobody really knows what would have happened.”
Two clear answers to the question everyone in boxing wanted to know. Munguia was not going to talk about Golovkin, not when he had a hungry Dennis Hogan looking to upend the apple cart.
But sometimes boxing writers just can’t take no for an answer.
Two questions later another journalist asked Munguia “Would you…if you had the opportunity to fight someone like GGG if given the opportunity?”
Munguia finally relented and gave the international media the red meat they were seeking.
“Yes, we would be interested in that fight with GGG now that he is on DAZN. The truth is it would be a good fight for us and for the people. So with pleasure I would accept the fight, but right now I’m focused on the fight that I have on April 13th, but after that with pleasure I would take this fight.”
Lost in the shuffle was Dennis Hogan, the WBO #1 contender with a record of 28-1, 7 KOs. Most experts recognize that although Munguia sometimes shows a tendency to get hit, Hogan lacks the power to fully capitalize on that weakness. But what Hogan may lack in punching power he more than makes up for in heart and determination, and if Munguia is looking past him he might just find a way to shock the world.
“My dream of being a world champion is very strong, and I’ve been doing everything in training, ticking all the boxes and doing everything to make that happen. I’ve got laser focus and I see myself lifting the title on April 13th in Mexico.”
Hogan even seemed unfazed that the boxing media was more interested in GGG they were in him, recognizing that this was just part of boxing. When asked if he felt disrespected he admitted he didn’t.
“I’ve been the underdog a lot in my career. I understand where it’s at, and I know that-I understand that all the pressure will be on Munguia going back to Mexico and having to fight there. That’s boxing: it’s a business as much as a sport and everyone is looking to see what the biggest fights can be made, so I understand it is what it is. But I am here to make an upset. And with that I have a lot of confidence. So I enjoy people asking who he’d like to fight next because when other names are being mentioned, they’re probably the names I’ll be fighting next.”
Even if Hogan is considered a major underdog there is no question that he will be fighting in front of one of the largest crowds of the year when he takes on the undefeated champion at Arena Monterrey. Although tickets are still available at www.arenamonterrey.com a sellout is expected.
“The truth is I’m very happy to come back to Mexico as a world champion,” Munguia added. “This is the last place where I fought before I became a world champion and made all of my defenses. So it’s very exciting to be coming back to Monterrey. It’s a great arena. It’s grandiose. It’s huge, down in Monterrey. So to be able to see it full would be very exciting for me, and I’m going to have all the desire and the will to make sure that we have a great fight for everyone there.”