By Jonny Stapleton
MARTIN Rogan believes whats at stake when he squares of against Matt Skelton in the Kings Hall on November 12 is more precious than a world title.
The ‘Iron Man‘, who had to cancel a scheduled WBF world title fight because the BBBC refused to sanction it, claims both he and fellow veteran Skelton are fighting for their careers.
It is do or die as two of the heavyweight divisions older men come together in a repeat of their 2009 Commonwealth title fight. Defeat would effectively mean retirement, but Belfast’s most famous Taxi driver is promising to deliver victory before launching one more assault at major honours.
Speaking to Mirror Sport Rogan said the heavyweight’s don’t need a belt to fight for as they are fighting for the last scrap on the career plate.
“It could definitely be viewed as a fight where both our careers are on the line. He is 43 and I am 40. We are both coming back after a year out with injury and are we are both at a cross roads. I think we dwell in loses to much over here. We should follow the American view point and dust ourselves off and keeping going when we loose. But in this case we both have more motivation than we would have going into a world title fight, because we don’t want to loose. We don’t need a belt on the line to fight we will fight for the last scarp of food on the plate.”
“I am not planning to loose though. I am going to do what I do best get in the ring and fight. I will put in place all I have learned of Bernardo Checa over the last two months and beat Skelton again.”
Question marks have been raised about Skelton’s age, but ‘Big Roggie’ claims the former kick-boxer, muay thai and K1 fighter is always in good shape and has plenty of time to prepare.
The Belfast fighter, who is determined to prove he is the biggest of the Irish big men, also stressed the English fighter has revenge as an added incentive and motivation.
“Matt wants revenge,” Rogan added. “He will be over here trying to take my head off. He is a great fighter and always comes to fight. We where both Commonwealth champions trying to get into title contention. The fans just have to look at the first fight as an appetiser and a preview of what to expect. He has had plenty of time to prepare too and I know he is always fit and ready.”
When Rogan first announced the November 12 date fight fans assumed he was fighting on the undercard of a Tyson Fury fight and suggested a potential bout between the bickering pair was back on.
However, the former British Commonwealth champion claims the reigning Commonwealth champion will not be fighting on the card and once again suggested Fury was afraid of him.
“We asked The Kings Hall to give us a date and they said November 12 was free even though Hennessey Sports have been suggesting they have that booked for Fury. Fury is afraid to fight me on ten weeks notice. He wants to get me in there without proper time for me to prepare. I don’t need to leave my city to get fans and I am here to fight in Belfast for my fans on November 12.”