TJ Doheny shows supreme class in reaction to defeat in FOTY contender

TJ Doheny showed he is a class act in and out of the ring last night.

‘The Power’ cemented his status as world level operator in a brilliant Fight of the Year contender with Danny Roman, but showed the calibre of person he has post the super bantamweight unification bout.

Despite showing flashed of class, moments of real power, and instances of pure guts the Portlaoise fighter lost his IBF world title to the now two-belt world champion via a 113-113, 116-110, 116-110 majority decision.

The Sydney-based Irishman was magnanimous in defeat, the first of his pro career, and showed the ultimate respect to his defeater.

The road warrior didn’t look for any excuses after a clash some are already hoping to see again and lauded Mexican-American Roman as the greatest at the weight in the world.

Speaking in the ring immediately after the verdict was read out, Doheny said “first off, I just want to congratulate Danny, him and his team. He’s a great fighter but more importantly he’s an absolute gentleman and that means more to me.”

“It wasn’t like I got beaten by some Joe Soap, I got beaten by the best 122 fighter in the world. I said it all along in the build-up, the winner was going to be the #1, Danny is the man, I can’t take anything away from him,” he continued before expressing a desire to remain at the top end of the division following a world class display.

“My stock can only go up from there, I put it all on the line. If there is a rematch on the cards, whatever, I want to come straight back in to the top. I don’t want to be rebuilt. This is where I belong. We came up short tonight but I am still learning all the time and I still think the best is yet to come.”

“Plan one was to come here and be unified champion, that didn’t come. Plan two was to give the people of Los Angeles an absolute war and I hope that I entertained everybody.”

While Doheny had Roman hurt badly in the seventh, almost forcing a stoppage, he was hurt himself down the stretch, with the home favourite’s body assaults paying dividends.

The Laois man recalled how “I think it was in the mid-rounds, he caught me with a really good body shot and I didn’t recover from it and he kept working on it and working on it. It slowly broke me down but I’m an Irishman, we’re warriors, we tough it out to the end and I hope I made everybody proud.”

Doheny also showed real appreciation for his new promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom fame and gave him world class billing too.

“I just want to say thanks as well, I’m not licking his ass or anything, but I want to say thanks to Eddie Hearn. The man is unbelievable. He is one of the best promoters in the world and he gave me this opportunity. I just want to thank him straight off the bat.”

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com