Following the highly controversial ending of their first encounter, Martin Rogan and Sam Sexton had to meet again to settle their unfinished business once and for all. And promoter Frank Warren has done just that. The rematch between the two feuding heavyweights will take place on Friday 9th October at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast and it could eclipse the drama of their first fight.
In May at the same venue, the Belfast hero – who’s rise to the top is like a true life Rocky story – was only seconds from victory and retaining his Commonwealth Heavyweight title in the eighth round after Sexton was out on his feet and it appeared that referee Dave Parris would step in.
Instead Rogan got a warning for hitting behind the head and when the action recommenced Sexton appeared to spit his gum shield out to give him some valuable seconds.
Sexton looked ‘ready to go’ and Rogan looked at Parris imploring him to stop the fight, Parris let the fight go on before he noticed the gum shield had come out and called a time out to have it rinsed and replaced.
Rogan was tiring badly and couldn’t find the shot to finish Sexton who was digging in deep, then the referee called another time out for the doctor to check Rogan’s eye and following his advice Parris stopped the fight because of huge swelling under his left eye.
Despite the result, Rogan showed real class and praised Sexton on his win, but is desperate for revenge and to get his Commonwealth title back.
Already in training for the return, Rogan said, “I can’t wait for justice to be done on October 9th and my two fists will be handing out the judgement. Everyone knows I won the last fight and the referee saved him, but that’s in the past and I can’t cry about it now. I just have to beat Sexton this time. I made mistakes last time and Sexton won’t get that opportunity again, I am going to absolutely destroy the man. I beat him with one eye, this time I will have two perfect eyes and I’m going to be coming at him like no one has ever done in his life. There is nowhere for him to hide in that ring.
Sexton, who is reveling in his new champion status, said, “Everyone knows that if the fight was anywhere else it would have been stopped because of the state of Rogan’s eye. It’s all on dvd for you to see, I out-boxed him in every round apart from the eighth. He is just a brawler with no boxing skill and that only thing he’s got is his strength, but that wasn’t much to worry about. Remember, I took the fight in Belfast and went into the lions den and beat him and now I’m going back there and will do the same again, only easier. This time there will be no stoppage and he’s going to get knocked out.”
Promoter Frank Warren said, “It’s an exciting rematch and all the controversy from the first fight will certainly build it up into a big return. Sexton went into Rogan’s backyard and won the title and now Rogan has the opportunity to get it back.”
Tickets, priced at £25 (tier), £30 (tier), £40 (central tier), £60 (floor), £100 (floor) and £150 (ringside) are available from the Odyssey Arena Box Office and Ticketmaster.