8 January 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
Belfast’s Martin Rogan will have to travel to Birmingham for his February 28 clash with Commonwealth heavyweight champion Matt Skelton.
It had been hoped that, following Rogan’s victory over Audley Harrison in December, the bout would take place at the Kings Hall. However, at a press conference on Thursday it was confirmed that the NIA will be the venue.
Skelton’s European crown will not be on the line for a bout which could catapult the winner towards a World Title opportunity. Such an outcome would represent an incredible turn of events for Rogan, who this time last year looked to be running out of options.
Although undefeated, the Irishman was struggling to secure fights. However, following success in the inaugural edition of the Prizefighter Series, the taxi driver’s stock rose considerably, securing a clash at former Olympic medalist Harrison. The reward for victory was a title shot against the awkward, rugged Skelton.
Speaking about the fight, Skelton said that knows exactly what kind of challenge Rogan will present.
“Rogan is a dangerous fighter and I was impressed by the way in which he dug deep against Harrison,” the former world title challenger said.
“Anyone with an undefeated record is a threat because they don’t know how to lose.
“But I believe I will win this fight. When I lost to Chagaev (for the WBA title) people asked me whether I would quit, but I feel better than ever and I think that I’m still improving.”