03 September 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
Martin Rogan has told irish-boxing.com that he harbours no ill feelings following his much-publicised split from long-time coach John Breen.
Rogan left the Lombard St gym shortly after his October 9 Commonwealth heavyweight title rematch with Sam Sexton was announced for the Odyssey Arena. This followed an explosive press conference, in which Rogan with Breen at his side – accused Sexton of attempting to divide the people of Belfast on age-old political lines.
“Emotions ran high at the press conference,” The Entertainer admitted. “Im usually a gentleman but I have no disrespect for Sam Sexton he is a skilled boxer.”
Hindsight allows us the knowledge that at the time Rogans split with Breen was very much on the west Belfast natives mind at the time.
“Ive no hard feelings over it. John Breen is a good, decent man but I needed a change a change is as good as a rest.
“It is me that has to get in the ring and fight. Confidence comes from yourself so I have to do what I feel is best for me and my career.”
Having set up camp with Paul McCulluch and Gerald McCafferty behind the closed doors of the St John Bosco Boxing Club for the revenge mission against Sexton, Rogan has said that certain key changes have been made to his preparation.
“It was always very warm in Johns gym. Thats great if you need to lose weight but Im a heavyweight so I dont need that. I came in last time a bit too light so Ill be heavier this time.”
Having had Sexton out on his feet in the first fight, Rogan was then stopped by doctors on the basis of a swollen eye, much to the Irishman’s disgust.
“He (Sexton) was out of it. I did the sporting thing but got punished for it. To me it was dirty. Then he hit me after he had stopped and asked for his gumshield to be put back in. I made my own mistake and I won’t make it again.”
Referee Dave Parris was singled out for criticism for the way in which he handled the fight and Rogan remains critical.
“Referees make mistakes but you cant make mistakes like that. I dont know who the referee will be this time, though.”
Having brought in the likes of Kevin Johnston and Terry Dunstan for sparring in the past, Rogan is currently working with amateur star Conall Carmichael, though in the coming weeks he looks set to travel to mainland Europe to hone his skills with some of the worlds best big men.
“Conall has a similar style and size to Sexton, so he has been brilliant. But we are looking at going to Germany as well as there are some great heavyweights there.”
Rogan also has one eye on his other rivals, with a number of interesting events lined up.
“Im looking forward to the McDermott v Furey fight, which should be good,” he beamed.
“Also the next Prizefighter series looks exciting. Its a very good line-up. A lot of people have said that they think Audley Harrison will win it, but I think Michael Sprott is in with a good shout.”
Rogan should know he won the inaugural Prizefighter in April, 2008.
The Irish Boxing Supporters Club has organised a bus and ticket deal to the upcoming Martin Rogan vs Sam Sexton rematch at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast on October 9.
The 50 deal, which includes a 40 fight ticket and transport to and from the arena, also offers club members the opportunity to win memorabilia including signed gloves and fight posters.
The bus will have pick up points in Warrenpoint, Newry and Banbridge, To book your place or for more information, call club secretary Bobby Lavery on 00447808175612.