Trained carpenter and light-heavyweight pugilist Dennis 'The Hurricane' Hogan from Kildare has relocated to Brisbane to carry out a career in the ring in Australia.
From the age of seven, Dennis Hogan has only ever taken one year out from boxing.
The light-heavyweight from Kilcullen, Kildare spent 2006-2007 backpacking around Australia after he had injured his hand and couldn’t fight.
In January of this year ‘Hurricane’ Hogan made the trip back to Australia to make a career as a professional boxer and is now based in Brisbane with coach Steve Deller.
“Basically I was just doing amateur back home and I’d sort of gone as far as I could go. I wanted to go professional and I wanted to come back to Australia, I have a cousin here and I knew that I would get training here,” Dennis says.
Hogan, 26, came over with his girlfriend who left a job as a beauty therapist to move over with him.
“She dropped everything to come over with me. She was a homebird and was a bit homesick for the first couple of months, but she loves it now,” he says.
Steve Deller, Hogan’s trainer and promoter, has a 30 year career and was part of Hogan’s reason for making the decision to come down under.
“I boxed on the Irish national team and we came out to Australia in 2008. That’s how I met Steve,” Hogan says.
“I knew he was a genuine guy and when I was looking to go professional, and wanted to come to Australia, I got in touch with him.”
Hogan says that Steve set him up with a place to live and “a thing to drive” so he jumped at the chance to come over.
A carpenter by trade, the boxer was working as a bouncer at Time Nightclub in Naas two nights a week and just doing some carpentry on the side.
“I wasn’t making any money,” he says.
“Boxing at home was going good, I was national champion three years ago but then I got beat by Kenny Egan in the semi-finals, so it looked like he was going to be on top. I always wanted to go professional so I decided instead of wasting time I would get into the professional game while I’m still young enough to learn the tricks.”
Having Kenny Egan in his weight also put a question mark over Hogan’s Olympic chances and while he thinks he could have stayed around and tried to beat him, he would have lost another year and a half in the professional game.
“Every country has its own boxing style, but the Australian one suits me. It has way more fight.
“Amateur is all about hitting and not getting hit, the aim is to be up on points once the bell goes. But with professional over here, once the bell goes the two lads go for it,” he says.
So far the move has been a success for Hogan who has fought three times since he arrived, winning two and drawing the other.
“I was only after getting back from Ireland seven days before the last fight [in which he drew].
“I hadn’t got over the jet-lag or anything and I had to fight really hard, I wasn’t fully in it.
“The fact that I still drew means that the career is going well,” he says.
Hogan now has plans to reduce his 79 kilo weight so that he can fight as a super middle-weight.
“I’m only 5’11, a lot of lads in the light-heavyweight category are 6’2, but it has suited me to get in under them.
“The last guy I fought weighed in at 84 kilos so I fought a man who was five kilos heavier than me. It’s a sign I shouldn’t be there. He’s probably a stone heavier than me in the fight which makes a big difference to the punches,” he explains.
With a lot of hard training and a caveman diet, which involves no processed food, Hogan plans to get into the super middle-weight category soon.
The Hurricane admits that he gets very patriotic when he fights in Australia and comes out to the ring to the soundtrack of the Drop Kick Murphy’s song Shipping up to Boston.
“There was about 70-80 Irish people in the crowd at my last fight and it really means a lot to have them there, when they’re all screaming you on it’s like having another hand in the ring,” he says.
His next fight is against Callan Orchard on August 12 at the Boxing Fit Arena, Port Melbourne, Victoria.
“My next fight is a step up in class, he’s got five wins and one loss. He beat the guy he lost to two weeks ago in a rematch.
“Also, he’s from Victoria, we’re fighting in his home place so I’m going to have to put up an extra special effort,” he says.
Whether it’s a tough fight or not, the 26-year-old is still pretty sure that he has another ten years left in him.
“I don’t know anything else but boxing,” he says.