Lincoln, RI (June 13, 2022) – Hard-hitting southpaw Francis Hogan has always had the physical tools to succeed in professional boxing. Until now, he never had an entire team in his corner.
That all changed in May when the unbeaten 6-foot-3 middleweight signed a multi-year promotional agreement with regional giant CES Boxing, whom he first fought for in October of 2020.
Hogan returns Friday, June 24 at Summer Splash in a six-round bout against Rodrigo Lopes Rodrigues at Ballys Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort, and while it’s not his official promotional debut, it’s his first fight since officially joining the CES team and his first in front of Rhode Island fans (the October 2020 bout was held in an empty arena due to the pandemic).
What excites Hogan (10-0, 10 KOs) most is the security of having a promoter like Jimmy Burchfield Sr., the president and CEO of CES, who has proven he’s willing to go the extra mile for his fighters – a stark contrast to Hogan’s first two years as a pro when he bounced from fight card to fight card just hoping to get an opportunity against the right opponent to build his résumé.
“I finally feel like I’ve made it,” said the 21-year-old Hogan, who is also a member of the Iron Workers Local 7 union. “Things started getting rough after my first couple of fights, and it seemed like it was harder than ever to get guys to fight me. It turned into a headache.
“My thing is as long as I’m in the gym training and nothing messes with my rhythm, I’m good. Jimmy made me feel welcome from Day 1. I actually felt like part of the team before I even sat down and talked to him.”
Hogan’s Ballys debut is part of a stacked fight card that features the return of female icon Jaime “Hurricane” Clampitt, Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano, and rising lightweight prospect Alejandro Paulino of New London, CT. Tickets are available at CESFights.com.
Hogan’s attributes – and potential – are endless. He began boxing at a young age, a byproduct of watching classic fights on television with his father, Richard, and younger brother, Richie Jr. When his father began bringing him to the gym to train, Hogan immediately fell in love with the sweet science, ditching baseball, football, and whatever other sport he wanted to play to fully focus on boxing.
“I knew that was my sport,” he said. “Everything else went out the window.”
He and his brother rose through the amateur ranks together, with Francis accumulating eye-popping numbers: More than 200 amateur bouts, two international amateur titles in Canada, six national championships, a gold medal at the 2019 New England Golden Gloves, and a third-place finish in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2019, all despite losing his first 40 fights as an amateur. His power was what stood out the most. Nicknamed “Frank the Tank” by his father, Hogan at one point had more knockout victories than any other amateur boxer in the country at either 152 or 165 pounds.
As a pro, Hogan continues to get stronger by the day. He knocked out each of his first 10 opponents, including four in the first round in addition to a nail-biter in July of 2021 when he nearly went the distance with New Jersey’s Isiah Hart, ending the fight 1:36 into the sixth and final round. He aims to keep the strike alive on the 24th against the durable Rodrigues (8-2), who faces an unbeaten opponent for the third fight in a row.
“I consider myself a boxer-puncher,” Hogan said. “I can box, but if not, I can slug it out. When that happens, I end up knocking people out cold.”
Hogan’s day job as an iron worker, which he landed through the influence of his father, usually consists of 8 ½-hour days, beginning at sunrise working on buildings in downtown Boston or Cambridge. Then he’d hit the gym early in the afternoon, sometimes twice a day depending on whether or not he had a fight coming up. To keep himself fresh, Hogan typically takes time off from work when preparing for an intense training camp knowing proper sleep and recovery are fundamentals to his success.
He’s as realistic as he is ambitious. Hogan understands that at some point the knockouts might not come as easily as they appear (at least to the untrained eye). Super middleweight star Edgar Berlanga knocked out his first 16 opponents in the opening round, but as the level of competition increased, so, too, did the workload; Berlanga has now gone the distance in his last three bouts, albeit all victories.
That day will come for Hogan, too, but not for lack of modesty or preparation. The art of knocking out an opponent is a science to Hogan, set up and administered by his ability to change levels in the ring, adjust on the fly, find his opponent’s weakness, and strike while the iron is hot (no pun intended). If the formula continues, Hogan could easily reach his goal of finishing 2022 with a 14-0 record, all by knockout, of course.
Being part of the right team will help. He’s had family by his side since Day 1, notably his father and brother, but Richie Jr. is heading to the Marines, so the circle’s a bit smaller than it used to be. Nonetheless, Hogan is excited about the opportunity to work alongside one of the sport’s most revered promoters, and he’s closely followed the trajectory of CES’ hottest fighter, Jamaine Ortiz, who recently beat former world champion and Olympian Jamel Herring on ESPN, proof positive that Golden Boy, Top Rank, Matchroom, etc., aren’t the only promotions capable of bringing a fighter to the next level.
“I’ve been watching his progress and watching him get the big fights we all dream of getting,” Hogan said of Ortiz. “It makes me feel good knowing I can get there, too, with the people I’ve surrounded myself with.”