Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sexton and Rogan Meet Again

Commonwealth heavyweight title challenger Martin Rogan has offered an olive branch to rival Sam Sexton - until they get between the ropes. The pair meet in their highly-anticipated second showdown on November Friday 6 at Belfast's Odyssey Arena. It follows a controversial classic in May when Sexton, who had been out on his feet earlier in the round, halted Rogan in the eighth because the then champion had a badly swollen eye. The temperature ahead of the rematch peaked at boiling point over the summer when Rogan and Sexton clashed at a Belfast press conference. A furious Rogan accused Sexton of attempting to divide the Ulster community, an allegation the Norwich champion vigorously denied. Today, during a conference call, Rogan backed down, blamed his outburst on difficulties he was having outside the ring at the time - and underlined the respect he has for Sexton. "Emotions were running high, and unfortunately that's how they came out," said Rogan. "I think there was something in the air, and as far as I'm concerned I definitely wasn't myself that day. "I have no issues with Sam Sexton and I hope there are no hard feelings. Emotions were running high and I would like to rectify a few things."What we have to remember is that this is a night of boxing. It's a family affair and parents will be coming with their children. Sam and I have to show our sportsmanship. "I have plenty of respect for him for agreeing to come back to Belfast. "I know how difficult it is to be on the road because I went to England when I boxed Audley Harrison and Matt Skelton." But however gentlemanly Rogan has promised to be outside the ring, he vowed to do the business between the ropes come fight night. "I learned a few things in that first fight and I was probably too naive in letting Sexton off the hook," he said. "I won't make the same mistake again." Of Rogan's previous outburst, Sexton said: "I had no idea what it was all about. I was told to do a press workout in a certain gym which was a protestant one, but I also visited a Catholic gym as well. "I don't understaind what it is all about. I'm coming to Belfast to box, I don't know a thing about politics." And of the fight he added: "Every time I fight I'm getting stronger, I'm getting fitter and I'm getting faster. "I am now a much better fighter than the one who boxed Rogan in May, and the result won't be different second time around. Tickets, priced at £25 (tier), £30 (tier), £40 (central tier), £60 (floor), £100 (floor) and £150 (ringside) are available from: Odyssey Arena Box Office 02890 739 074 Ticketmaster 0844 277 4455 Frank Warren Promotions 01992 550 888


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