By Jonny Stapleton
Anyone who has ever witnessed Martin Rogan in ring action knows the heavyweight believes attack is the best form of defence.
And it seems the Belfast fighter holds the same attitude outside the squared circle as he hit out at a ‘harsh minority’ of people criticising his October 27 WBU world title fight.
The Iron Man’s decision to turn down a bout with Irish and world title hopeful Tyson Fury in favour of clash with Luis Andres Pineda for the least prestigious of the world crowns has even upset some Roggie fans.
However, The Entertainer has defended his decision and whilst stressing he is open to constructive criticism believes some of the condemnation has been of the vindictive kind and over the top.
Belfast’s most famous taxi driver, who wants to wage war with ’Keyboard Warriors’ claims he will use the title to deliver bigger and better battles to Belfast and called on fight fans and press to get behind him.
Speaking in a week where Tyson Fury fights has come to town to try and take Rogan’s biggest heavyweight in Ireland crown, the 40 year old said,
“I have listened to all the criticism. What am I meant to do jump in the taxi and start working. I am a fighter I want to fight. People need to take time out and consider what they are saying about their own fighters. Other countries get behind their fighters and love the fact they have titles and hold on to them. A minority of people begrudge you here and shout their mouth off. Some people rather than get behind us want to go against us.” Rogan said.
“I don’t invent these titles. All I did was get an offer to fight for it. I am not going to turn it down. . It is hard to try and get to the top. I want to use this belt to entice the big names and the Klitshko’s to fight me.”
The level of Rogan’s opponent has also come under fire but the Belfast brawler claims Pineda’s record doesn’t do him justice. Indeed the former Commonwealth champion and inaugural Prizefighter winner believes he himself could be viewed as an underdog ahead of the WBU world title bout.
“His team are saying ‘this guy Rogan is 40 years of age, lost to Sam Sexton, fought two fights in two years and had a massive operation on his neck, this is good for us.’ Pineda on the other hand has been active and his defeats have come in title fights and against guys in the top 20 of the division. He didn’t lose to a man walking up the street doing a bit of shopping,” Rogan added before praising those who are supporting him.
“There is a blanket of people that believe in what I am doing and are confident I can still achieve in the heavyweight division. They are my motivation and I am going to do my best for them. There are also young fighters who will get to fight on this bill and wont have to travel to build experience and records. All I can do is keep marching on and keep going. Keyboard warriors abuse people and know nothing about boxing.”