In a clash that is set to shake up the junior middleweight rankings, Hogan is set to face a tough, up-and-coming durable fighter in Yao Yi Ma. With a record of 15-1 (10 KO's), Yi Ma has considerable punching power, and will seek to rough up Hogan from the get-go. Australia's leading manager Mike Altamura- who represents Yi Ma, believes that "It's a tough fight, a genuine 50/50 contest, and a much anticipated clash between two standouts in the domestic 154lb division. Yao has had a great preparation and I am expecting him to bring solid, nonstop pressure on the night."
Adam Wilcock, manager of the Irish-born Queenslander Hogan had praise for Yao Yi Ma; stating the following-
"Yao Yi Ma has been the forgotten man of Australian boxing for the last 3-4 years. He's got real talent, is as tough as they come and avoided by many. If it wasn't for a combination of injuries and a lack of willing opponents, he'd be better known."
After suffering his first loss, Hogan will likely be looking to bounce back with a standout performance against Yi Ma. Traveling to Germany last December, Hogan took on the Ecuadorian born Jack Culcay (now 22-1). Suffering a points loss, Hogan has since returned to winning ways with 2 solid performances in 2016.
Wilcock commentated on the magnitude of this fight-
"Dennis has always been set on the same path- first we'll navigate through the best in Australia, then the region, then onto the best matched fights overseas. Yao previously held this WBO regional title and he's willing to fight Dennis. The fight is a great stepping stone for Dennis and a fighter that he simply must beat if he wants to fight for another world title. Maybe Yao Yi Ma is just unfashionable, but this fight should certainly be getting more attention- it has 'fight-of-the-year' written all over it."
One of Australia's leading promoters, and promoter of the November 12th clash, Angelo Di Carlo, is responsible for putting the fight together. With fights of this magnitude; wherein two of Australia's best meet in their prime being few and far in between, we asked Di Carlo on how the fight came together- and why he believes fights like these aren't a regular occurrence.
He maintains that prime time fights such as these don't happen as often due to managers being too over-protective in choosing which fights to take.
"We need to start believing in our fighters so the fighters can believe in themselves. This fight came about due to both teams having self-belief."
"I also have a good working relationship with both teams so that helps."
To tune in to watch Dennis Hogan defend his WBO Oriental Super Welterweight Title against the tough Yao Yi Ma head to www.liveboxing.com.au to stream all the action live!
All articles featured on the Australian Boxing Central website are written by Tai Tuiniua, and all interviews are conducted by Mark Franklin, unless stated otherwise.