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Charlo stops Hogan in 7th to retain WBC middleweight title

Jermall Charlo 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.

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.

Ireland's Dennis Hogan receives a count during the seventh round of his WBC middleweight boxing match against Jermall Charlo on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMichael Owens)

Charlo 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.

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.

Jermall Charlo celebrates after defeating Ireland's Dennis Hogan during the seventh round of a WBC middleweight title boxing match Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMichael Owens)

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.

Jermall Charlo punches Ireland's Dennis Hogan during the fifth round of a WBC middleweight title boxing match Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMichael Owens)

"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).

Ireland's Dennis Hogan punches Jermall Charlo during the fifth round of a WBC middleweight title boxing match Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMichael Owens)

Jermall Charlo punches Ireland's Dennis Hogan during the fifth round of a WBC middleweight title boxing match Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York. (AP PhotoMichael Owens)