NEW YORK — Luck of the Irish?
Jermall Charlo didn’t need luck. He had a power punch and pinpoint accuracy.
"I just threw the shot and I made sure I threw it right on the money," Charlo said after he stopped Dennis Hogan 28 seconds in the seventh round Saturday night to retain the WBC middleweight title.
Charlo improved to 30-0. Hogan, the fifth-ranked WBC middleweight, dropped to 28-3-1.
"I wanted to keep going but the decision was fair enough by the referee," Hogan said. "I didn’t see the punch coming on the second knockdown. I was trying to keep boxing him but then all of a sudden I was on the ground and the fight was over."
Charlo controlled the fight throughout, and his pressure caused Hogan to circle away and only occasionally attempting an offensive flurry. Which led to the finish early in seventh. As Hogan was backing away, Charlo landed a punch flush to the face that caused referee Charlie Fitch to end the fight.
"My power prevailed tonight," said Charlo, who landed the first and last big shots of the fight.
The first occurred in the fourth round, as he connected with an uppercut to the chin which caused the Irishman to do a backward somersault into the ropes. Following a standing eight count, Fitch let the fight continue. Having knocked down Hogan, Charlo began to go on the offensive with heavy punches which stunned the challenger and set up the finish.
"We’ve been working on that (the uppercut)," Charlo said. "I try to take him out with every punch and we work hard for it. He got up and he fought like a champion."
The fight headlined a 12-fight card at Barclays Center. Prior to the bout Chris Eubank Jr., a British fighter, made his U.S. debut by becoming the WBA interim middleweight champion. He stopped Matt Korobov 11 seconds into the second round.
As the round started, Kobarov (28-3-1) threw a left that may have grazed Eubank (29-3), who responded with a jab to the shoulder. The fight continued for a few moments before Kobarov asked for time as he pointed to his shoulder. Kobarov was examined by New York State Athletic Commission doctors for a few minutes and his team for a few minutes in the ring before referee Steve Willis ended the fight much to the displeasure of those in attendance, who booed.
Eubank wasn’t overly enthused, either.
"I felt like I was about to get my swagger on. He just turned around and stopped I was going to go jump on him. I guess something happened with his shoulder," Eubank said. "I mean, there’s nothing to take from the fight. I threw like three or four punches. I was just warming up. …This wasn’t my dream. My dream was to come here to America and make a statement."
A formal diagnosis of the injury wasn’t immediately announced, but Korobov speculated it could have been a pulled muscle.
"I was trying to throw the left hand straight, and I just felt the muscle immediately, like I pulled it," Kobarov said. "It was a lot of pain right away. I couldn’t fight with just one arm, especially being a southpaw."
While Eubank Jr.’s fight underwhelmed, Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3) became the IBF interim junior featherweight champion with an 11th-round technical knockout of Marlon Tapales (33-3).