Mick Conlan and TJ Doheny meet next month in Belfast and the all-Irish super bantamweight showdown is a sensational clash of styles.
2015 World Amateur champion Conlan [15(8)-0] is perhaps one of the most gifted technicians to ever come from this island while former world champion Doheny [22(16)-2(0)] has power that is proven at world level.
One man that knows about both Féile fighters more than most is Ionut Baluta [14(3)-3(0)]. Like Conor Ahern who boxed both Conlan and Doheny in the amateurs, Baluta has traded leather with the pair in the pros.
The Romanian away fighter shocked Doheny in a Dubai ambush last year, claiming an eight-round points decision and then went on to stop Davy Oliver Joyce before succumbing to Conlan over twelve competitive rounds in April just gone.
Irish-Boxing.com contacted Baluta for his thoughts on the upcoming outdoors clash in the West Belfast.
Baluta sees the August 6th match-up at the Falls Park as a clash of styles, noting how “Michael is a fighter who moves very well in the ring, he knows how to dodge the blows very well, but TJ is a very hard-hitting fighter.”
“This fight is very important for TJ, it gives him a chance to get back to the top.”
Baluta is sitting on the fence, and predicted that “the fight will be very close, they are two experienced fighters.”
“It will be a very good fight, may the best man win.”
The 27-year-old was last in action in that April bout with Conlan.
The majority decision loss still stings for Baluta who felt his extreme activity across the twelve rounds should have been rewarded above Conlan’s accuracy.
“After the fight with Conlan I was a little disappointed by the judges’ decision,” he admits. “I wanted the decision to be null and voided. For me, I didn’t lose.”
“You could see the [lack of] damage on my face at the end of the fight compared to Conlan’s. I would like revenge.”
“I don’t have a fight at the moment but I’m always training and I will continue to fight with the best.”