Dennis 'The Hurricane' Hogan is dialed in ahead of his six round bout with Tommy Browne in Sydney on November 17. (Photo: 234Fight.com)

Having conquered the mental hurdles of his boxing career, Dennis 'The Hurricane' Hogan is ready for battle with Tommy Browne on November 17.

There comes a time in every fighter’s career in which they find themselves attempting to cope with the pressure of individual expectation. Such a headspace is a puzzle that the pugilist must solve, all while carrying the weight of experience, injury, and financial incentive, among a plethora of other factors.

On the surface, their challenge seems a simple one, but it is much more complex. The quandary that is ‘should I continue to fight?’ can open up a Pandora’s box of further questions regarding motivation and legacy.

‘Am I good enough? What do I want to prove? What is my reason why?’, these questions may, at some point, all become embedded in the psyche of a boxer.

Dennis ‘The Hurricane’ Hogan (28-4-1, 7 KOs), has been no exception to such mental anguish.

Following three straight losses, two of which were in World title bouts, he has been faced with his own puzzle. Either fight on and make a statement to boxing fans across the globe, or walk away knowing in his heart of hearts that he was good enough to take the mantle of a champion.

Through embracing such adversity, however, the now 36-year-old has found solace in where his career is headed. Instead of preferring one option over the other, he accepts that both have significant advantages.

In his mind, the upcoming six-round bout with Tommy Browne (42-7-2, 18 KOs) on November 17 will either be the start of a final run towards a World title or affirmation that fatherhood is the next step in a life lived to the fullest.

To this end, he has found comfort at the crossroads and is choosing to move forward one step at a time.

“For me, I had to face it,” Hogan told The Inner Sanctum.

“A friend brought it up and said, ‘you know Dennis you might want to have a little think about what you want to do after your career because to the outside World it just looks like I’ve deteriorated.

“Mentally, I’ve just gone, ‘listen, I’ve put in, I’ve felt the lows. I have two beautiful daughters and a partner that I want to be there for.

“It also excites me too, to know that I’ve got life after boxing. So right now, I’m just enjoying it and I’m seeing the best of myself. I don’t have any expectations.

“That’s where it is for me mentally. I’m enjoying this and I know either way it goes, good times are ahead.”

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None of this is to suggest that Hogan’s shift in focus has come easy. Rather, he admits that there have been a number of mental hurdles that he has had to leap.

Of these, self-doubt has been a major obstacle to overcome.

Following a unanimous decision loss to former WBO World Super Welterweight champion Jaime Munguia in his home country of Mexico, a fight that will go down in boxing annals as one of the sport’s worst ever robberies, Hogan suffered back to back TKO losses to WBC World Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (32-0, 22 KOs) and surging Australian Tim Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs).

Many boxing pundits believe Hogan was the rightful victor in his 2019 loss to Jaime Munguia in Mexico.

Wedged in between the Charlo and Tszyu fights was a scheduled bout with former WBA and IBF World Super Welterweight champion Julian Williams (27-3-1, 16 KOs), which was cancelled due to COVID concerns.

All of these setbacks were enough to raise questions for the Irish-born Brisbane-based fighter. Namely, whether he should agree with a boxing public who were now questioning his place in the pecking order.

Not prepared to succumb to such insecurities though, Hogan has reflected upon his experiences in a way that allows him to use them to stoke an internal fire.

Although past instances may not have been the most fruitful, it does not mean they should define his future. To him, he is still more than capable of beating and competing with the best in the game.

“To be honest with you, it was hard. There was a lot of low lows in all of that, especially in terms of how I see myself. In terms of being good enough to be World champion and preparation meeting opportunity, all those things,” Hogan candidly told.

“After that fight with Munguia, I actually feel like, ‘right, I’ve made a statement to the World.’

“I went up in weight to fight the best fighter at Middleweight (Charlo) which isn’t my weight, so I’ve sort of had to exclude that from judging where I am right now.

“I then went out to America to fight Julian Williams and was six or seven weeks out there training well for a fight and all of a sudden he apparently gets COVID. So I had to come back and sit in quarantine for two weeks in Sydney last December.

“You can see that the way I went straight for Charlo after (Munguia), straight for Williams, and then straight for Tszyu, I truly believe.

“I know what I can bring to the table and what I can do on fight night, but it’s like as if it just wasn’t meant to be.”

At peace with his recent run, ‘The Hurricane’ now enters the meeting with Browne, himself a former World title challenger, full of faith in both his ability and the direction his life is heading in.

While he now stands at a figurative fork in the road, both of the available paths are bathed in sunshine, free from any doom and gloom.

After the final bell rings out on November 17 at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, Hogan will walk freely and happily along whichever route the fight leads him in.

Moreover, he will be comforted by the fact that he is living out a family mantra that has accompanied his journey to attempt greatness.

“I want to go out there and do what I do, then after that, we’ll re-evaluate and make a path back to the championship,” Hogan concluded.

“I just mentally said, ‘let’s go in, let’s enjoy one more training camp and if it’s not to be and if you’re not that fighter anymore then you can walk away.’

“Get back in now and with no injuries, a good serious, solid camp and see where I lie. Then I’ll make my judgment from that. I’m pretty stoic about it to be fair.

“I don’t mind. If I am over the hill, I’m over the hill. That’s it, I’m done I don’t mind. I’ve had a great career, you know.

“But if there’s still one more in me, I said what the tattoo says on my chest of my grandfather’s last words – ‘give it everything you’ve got and that’s what I’ll do.”

Hogan v Browne is part of No Limit Boxing’s Tszyu v Inoue card on Wednesday, November 17 and can be ordered via Main Event/Kayo here

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