Withing the space of a few hours on Saturday night the future of Irish boxing could be altered considerably. While Katie Taylor sits alone as the only Irish world champion at present, that may be an honour she will be forced to share by the end of the weekend as Dennis Hogan, just one of a number of Irish fighters entering the ring this weekend, takes on Jermall Charlo in New York.
Hogan fought Jaime Munguia in April and was denied of the world title, it is widely acknowledged, by a controversial decision. Since then he has gone up to middleweight where he will now fight the unbeaten American for the WBC title. Claiming the green strap would put him alongside names like Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and Demetrius Andrade as a world middleweight champion. Illustrious company, needless to say.
— Dennis Hogan (@dennis_h_hogan) December 3, 2019
Hogan's challenge remains immense, but beating Charlo is not inconceivable. That could subsequently set up a possible all-Irish world title fight against Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan who, as it happens, fights Munguia in Texas next month. It's a prospect Hogan has already said he is open to should he make it through the toughest challenger of his career in the Barclays Center [sic].
Another man that will have his eye on Hogan, however, is Jason Quigley who may just happen to be ringside for the bout on Saturday, provided he comes through his Thursday night bout with Abraham Cordero in California. The Donegal man hit the first major bump in his professional career when he was beaten by Tureano Johnson back in July. His tussle with Cordero naturally won't garner the attention of Hogan's event but - that's not to say there is much on the line.
A bout with world champion Hogan may seem a bit far-fetched for now but a convincing win tomorrow night throws him right back into the Irish picture down the line. One solitary loss can be overcome. Indeed, Hogan has two losses on his record and still headlines a massive card two days later in his second consecutive challenge for a world title.
Kit for my next fight in my county Monaghan colors! Keep a look out for me December 5th in the hangar Orange County. I’m really looking forward to finishing off the year 10-0🥊🇮🇪☘️ @GoldenBoyBoxing @MgmtSheer @hawkemedia @BoxAdidas pic.twitter.com/Af5yODaQxE
— Aaron McKenna (@Aaronmckenna99) November 30, 2019
Elsewhere on the card in California, Aaron McKenna will be attempting to stretch his unbeaten record into double digits as he takes on Victor Eddy Gaytan. The 20-year-old has taken massive strides in the professional arena since his debut almost exactly two years ago, but with an ideal foundation now set he can begin to look ahead towards bigger opportunities as a new decade begins.
How his will record look at the dawn of the next decade is anybody's guess but Irish fans have every reason to be optimistic about the Monaghan pugilist. For now, he's the youngster that can set the Irish wave rolling in what could prove to be an epic few days.
Irish boxing has hardly spent the last decade in the wilderness but come Sunday morning it may well find itself in an oasis of opportunity, the world its oyster and world champions doubled.
Exciting times await.