NEW PROMOTER MAKES A SPLASH WITH DEBUT SHOW
This past Saturday night in Brisbane saw the debut show from DDP Sports in Brisbane, headlined by Dennis Hogan v Yuki Nonaka at the Brisbane Convention Centre. It was a bold and ambitious debut show from promotional partners Paul Keegan and Danny Dimas, and their ambition was rewarded with an action-packed card from top-to-bottom.
The pair behind DDP have been long-time sponsors/supporters of Hogan and decided to make the move into full-on promotion earlier this year and one target for the team is to deliver a more 'event-style' atmosphere as many have become accustomed to in the UK and when Hogan made his ring walk to a raucous ovation and singing Irish fans it was clear that this is a formula that works.
From the opening bell of Copland v Lightning, to the final bell of Hogan v Nonaka, each fight was littered with action and talking points.
Fight of the evening has to go to the only female fighters on the show, Deanha Hobbs and Quinit Hati who, for 6 solid rounds, threw everything but the kitchen sink at eachother with both women hitting the deck in separate rounds. It was Hobbs that came into the fight an overwhelming with 4 KOs in her first 4 fghts (2 of those in the first round), but Hati, who weighed in 2.7kgs heavier than her opponent, showed incredible durability to weather an early storm and come back strong in the later rounds. Hobbs took the UD win and now looks to secure herself a big-mone fight with Irish superstar, Katie Tayor.
Elsewhere on the card we saw the triumphant return of Alex Leapai who, after 3 years out of the sport, was looking to shake of any ring rust and send a message to other heavyweights that the former World Title challenger is back - and he means business. 'The Lionheart' secured victory with a heavy KO in the 2nd round and was quick to call out the current crop of Champions - although it will be his challenge to Lucas 'Big Daddy' Browne that will have raised most eyebrows, with many seeing that fight as a great domestic dust-up featuring two of the heaviest hitters in the game.
We also saw an emotional return for Rohan Murdock earlier in the night. Murdock, who almost secured a shot at Andre Ward last year has been out for some time with a host of injuries and his desire to put on a good performance was visible for all to see. Coming up against a tough and game Said Mbelwa, Murdock piled on the pressure and managed to secure a stoppage victory. He will now look to chase a World Title in 2018 and if he is able to stay active and replicate the kind of intensity and focus shown on Saturday then it seems more a question of 'when' and not 'if. for the powerful young Australian.
Finally, the headline show, featuring 2 top-10 ranked fighters, was a display of excellent boxing and sheer determination from both parties. Nonaka came to make a statement and from his pre-fight pad-work in the ring to final bell his intensity didn't drop one iota. Hogan who, unbeknown to anyone outside of his team, was carrying a painful oblique injury, put on the performance of a lifetime to dominate the Japanese fighter from start to finish, taking all ten rounds on two of the jUdges' scorecards. Those scores perhaps give an unfair representation of what was a very competitive fight but it was just that Hogan, under the tutelage of World Champion trainer Glenn Rushton, edged each round with the smarter, cleaner work. Despite a deep cut above his right eye from a head clash, Hogan continued to control the action and by the time of the final bell there could be no doubt who the winner was.
It was an action-packed finish to an action-packed night of Boxing, the boys at DDP had truly delivered on their promise and now look to bring another World Title fight to Brisbane early next year and in the words of Paul Keegan, "make Brisbane the capital of Boxing in Australia".
For all the post-fight interviews from the show check out our YouTube channel here
The stream of Saturday's show is available via www.epicentre.tv