Prizefighter winner Rogan sets sights on the British title



PRIZEFIGHTER 1 winner Martin Rogan has set his sights on becoming British Heavyweight Champion.

Rogan, 33, won the inaugural Prizefighter tournament back in April at the York Hall, Bethnal Green with a points victory over Sunderland's David Dolan in the final.

The competition, promoted by Barry Hearn's Matchroom Sport, had featured eight British heavyweights fighting in four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and a final in a three-hour period.

Each contest lasted a maximum of 3×3 minute rounds and the format proved extremely popular with the east London venue at capacity level witnessing a number of thrilling contests.

Belfast-based Rogan, who also defeated Alex Ibbs and David Ferguson, collected £25,000 but insisted the boost to his reputation would prove more valuable.

"The money is excellent, but it will come and go," said Rogan. "For me it's all about the title and that will stay with me ever. This competition was my world title fight.

"This puts my record at 10 and 0 so I'm hoping this will scratch the surface for the British title.

"David Dolan holds one of the best amateur records and he showed his boxing skills. But this was about how much you wanted it and I deeply wanted it so I went out and fought as hard as I could."

Dolan, a super heavyweight gold medalist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, had been the bookmakers favourite.

However, Rogan floored him within 15 seconds of the first round and again in round three and got a unanimous decision, despite a late flurry of punches from Dolan.

Both men showed their desire to win the competition in a scintillating nine-minute fight as the York Hall crowd gave both fighters a standing ovation.

For Rogan, a part-time actor and taxi driver, it completes a remarkable turnaround as he recently came close to quitting the sport.

"I was on the verge of packing boxing in," said Rogan. "I was so inactive back home in Belfast but then this chance came up and I took it.

"In Ireland there aren't enough promoters and fights were being cancelled. You couldn't come over here and fight on the mainland as it was easier for promoters to get somebody from just a few miles away rather than bring myself over.

"I would've probably gone into coaching the amateurs and got the kids in to teach them boxing.

"But Barry says he will work with me again and winning Prizefighter will open a lot of doors for me.

Rogan's next fight is scheduled to be against former Olympic Games gold medalist Audley Harrison and a victory in that could lead to a shot at Danny Williams' British title.

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