Boxing

Martin Rogan Speaks On The Loss To Sam Sexton, Says He'll Come Back Stronger

by James Slater - Though he saw his Commonwealth title and his unbeaten record vanish this past Friday night in his native Belfast when he was somewhat controversially TKO'd in the 8th round by underdog challenger Sam Sexton, Martin Rogan won himself even more fans. Stopped on a terribly swollen left eye near the end of the 8th round, after almost having his 24-year-old opponent out for the count, Rogan made the mistake of holding back on his onslaught when Sexton indicated to him that his mouth-piece had come out..

This incident, as expected, has caused much debate - with some fans going as far as accusing Friday's winner of deliberately spitting out his mouth-piece in a desperate attempt to buy time. If this is indeed what Sexton did, it worked, because Rogan stopped throwing punches. While this happened, the third man in the ring, Dave Parris, was further away from the action than many fans would have liked.

Speaking today, to The Sunday World, though, Rogan said nothing critical of his conqueror. Rogan did question the referee's handling of the fight while being interview on the ring apron minutes after losing his belt, but the 38-year-old tough guy did not accuse Sexton of cheating.

Speaking today, Rogan explained why he did not do what everyone has agreed he should have done, and gone right at Sexton when the 24-year-old dropped his hands and looked at the floor.

"The reason I didn't hit him was because the ref came in and I thought he was stopping the fight," Rogan explained. "But he only took Sam's gum-shield to the corner to get it washed. Fair play to Sam, he's a strong fighter and he caught me early on but I recovered well and I had him well in range when the fight was stopped.

"He [Sexton] didn't stop me though, and I'll be back, bigger and stronger than ever - I want to get back in the gym straight away for the next fight."

Possessing real class, the now 12-1(6) warrior has clearly refused to hold any grudge at what happened on Friday - even though the stoppage came mere seconds after he'd had his biggest success in the action-packed fight.

John Breen, "Rogie's" trainer, has called for a rematch, one he thinks can happen in Belfast if promoter Frank Warren wants to make it.

"Frank [Warren] couldn't make it [to Friday's fight] due to a back injury," Breen said. "But his partner Ed Simmons was ringside and he couldn't believe the passion and size of Martin's support. Martin may have lost his title but he has more credibility now than he did before the fight, and if the promoters want a rematch in Belfast, it'll happen."

First, however, Breen wants his fighter to have a well earned rest.

"He's had three wars now," Breen said. "December (Vs. Audley Harrison), February (Vs. Matt Skelton) and Friday, so he'll take a break to recharge the batteries - but he will definitely be bigger when he returns."

Now even more of a hero, it seems, "Rogie," or "The Entertainer," as he rightfully calls himself, will be welcomed back with open arms when he fights next.

Article posted on 17.05.2009



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