“It sets me back. I just don’t know what to say” – TJ Doheny reacts to shock defeat

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‘Devastated’ TJ Doheny admits his ‘nightmare’ Dubai defeat has ruined his massive 2020 plans. 

‘The Power’ was meant to tick over against Spain-based Romanian Ionut Baluta but came acroppper, suffering a devastating points defeat. 

Baluta had sprung a surprise win over England’s Kyle Williams in his previous fight, but was meant to be a workout rather than any trouble for the former world champion. 

However, Doheny paid the price for what looked like a slow start and a point deduction late in the fight. 

The 77-74 and 78-74 twice points defeat wasn’t just a shock but a massive set back. 

“I don’t know what to say myself. I’m absolutely devastated,” Doheny explained before suggesting a longer fight may have suited. 

“Look, I was just getting going. I’m a 12-round fighter. If that had have been a 12-round fight, I would have gotten him out of there in the next few rounds. I was just starting to find my rhythm, starting to get to him, you know? He knew it was an eight-round fight so he just tried to survive, hit, run, and it was just a nightmare of a night.”

Prior to the upset the talented Australian based Portlaoise fighter had lamented former foe Danny Roman’s defeat arguing it may lessen the hype around any proposed rematch. He also discussed possible fights with unified IBF-WBA champion Murodjan Akmadaliev and WBC king Rey Vargas.

All of those big name bouts may now be a win or two away rather than next up. 

“I don’t know what to say — I’m absolutely devastated. I had so many big plans for this year and now, with this result, it sets me back. I just don’t know what to say.”

Doheny took the defeat on the chin for the most part – and in other interviews admitted to being ‘piss poor’ – but there were elements that left him frustrated. 

He wasn’t overly happy with the negative style of his opponent, or with the fact the referee wasn’t fond of inside work. 

Doheny also felt he did enough to win the fight. 

“The referee wasn’t allowing any inside work which is where I was having success. I got a little frustrated and I tossed him on the ground as you could see.

“The rounds were so close. I thought, honestly — every fighter says they thought they were winning. When I heard the scorecards, I thought the scores were too wide for me not to win. That’s what I was thinking. Then, when they called his name, I was just like, ‘Wow.’ I dunno, it’s just one of those things.

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“I was expecting to get eight rounds to set me up for the year, expecting to get some work. I can’t even call him a surprise package because I’m 10 times the fighter he is, but he just ran and spoiled and held, and it was one of those fights where the spoiler came out on top. And unfortunately, I had to be the one in there with him.

“I’m very, very, very disappointed. Honestly, I don’t know what to say, I’m so upset.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie