The Portlaoise super bantamweight was yesterday confirmed to have signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions and a defence of his IBF title was immediately pencilled in for next Friday [January 18th] at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
No name was revealed in the initial announcement but ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael reports that Japan’s Ryohei Takahashi [16(6)-3(1)-1] will be in the opposite corner – should his visa paperwork be finalised without any problem.
In addition to this, AsianBoxing.info note that they have heard rumours of the fight emanating from Japan.
Takahashi is ranked #10 in the world with the IBF (#39 on BoxRec) and would come into the bout off the back of a five-fight win streak. Last year the Yokohama brawler went to Thailand where he defeated Mike Tawatchi, who Doheny beat in a final eliminator, to claim the IBF Pan-Pacific title while he also holds a win over the previously touted Kazuki Tanaka.
28-year-old Takahashi’s losses came in his debut back in 2012, in the away corner versus Aussie Andrew Moloney in 2016, and a narrow split-loss to countryman Yuki Iriguchi.
32-year-old Doheny, who defeated Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa in Tokyo to claim the title last August, will be a favourite for the fight and the match-up may not be one which gets the pulses racing.
That said, considering the context of the introductory fight on the DAZN platform – the short notice, Doheny returning from a thumb injury, potential unifications next – it is about as good as could have been expected if not better.
Official confirmation from Doheny’s team is expected soon for the fight which will be shown live in Ireland and the UK via Sky Sports.