Eddie Hearn plots TJ Doheny Unification fight


Eddie Hearn has near instant unification plans for TJ Doheny [20(14)-0].

The Matchroom boss added Ireland’s only reigning male world champion to his stable, making a surprise announcement on last night – and confirmed the Laois native will make a first IBF super bantamweight world title defence live on DAZN and Sky Sports next Friday [January 18th].

It’s a massive move for the Portlaoise BC graduate and the Sydney-based southpaw, who fights out of Boston, may now get the chance to gain the profile his achievements and talent deserve.

That will certainly be the case if the Matchroom chief’s plans for only the second fighter from Ireland or Britain to win a world title in Japan – the first being Wayne McCullagh – come to fruition.

Hearn, who also has Katie Taylor, Ryan Burnett, and Jono Carroll, on his books, wants to pit ‘The Power’ against WBA title holder Daniel Roman as soon as the Spring. 

“I’m delighted to welcome TJ to the team,” said Hearn.

“TJ is always in great fights and he is coming off a huge win in Japan to capture the title,” he added before outlining his unification plans.

The English fight boss described how Doheny “will make the first defense of his title at Madison Square Garden on January 18th and if he comes through will attempt to unify the division against WBA champ Danny Roman in the spring.”

“There are some great fights to be made at 122lbs and we expect to see all of them on DAZN.”

The Roman fight looks an easy one to make considering Roman’s Matchroom and DAZN links and Golden Boy’s Rey Vargas, who holds the WBC title, also has a relationship with the streaming service.

28-year-old Roman won the title last February versus champion Ryo Matsumoto at the Korakuen Hall in Japan – the same venue where Doheny dethroned Ryosuke Iwasa – and has since defended it twice versus Moises Flores and Gavin McDonnell.

Not to mention Ryan Burnett is a Matchroom fighter who may have two weight world title ambitions and a clash with Doheny would be massive for Belfast.

It’s exciting times for the 32-year-old, who seemed set to defend in Japan prior to Monday’s announcement, and he can’t wait get the relationship and the year off to a good start next weekend.

“I am absolutely ecstatic to be joining the principal team in professional boxing today,” said Doheny.

“I am really excited to getting the ball rolling with my first defense on January 18th at Madison Square Garden. This fight will give me the momentum I need going into really big year.”

No opponent has been confirmed for the midlander, yet, but Japanese brawler Ryohei Takahasi [16(6)-3(1)-1] looks to be the leading contender.

Doheny’s World title defense is part of a huge night of action in New York as middleweight Demetrius Andrade defends his WBO title for the first time against Russian Artur Akavov.

A third World title bout on the card sees future Katie Taylor foe Amanda Serrano gunning for history as she looks to land World honors in an extraordinary seventh weight class as she meets Eva Voraberger for the vacant WBO super fly belt.

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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