Matt ‘The Mantis’ Doherty aiming to prey on Chinese amateur star

On Saturday night in Quincy, Massachuestes, lightweight Matt Dohery will take on highly-rated Chinese prospect Zhimin Wang [6(3)-0].

Few expect him to win, however ‘The Mantis,’ is confident of causing a shock in the eight-round bout at the Marina Bay SportPlex.

Ahead of the clash, Doherty [4(2)-2(0)-1] spoke to irish-boxing.com and told us that “I am very confident for an upset.”

“A fight is a fight. Two legs, Two arms and one man.”

The 27 year old is a relative novice in the pro boxing game, with a background mainly in mixed martial arts, and just four amateur fights to his name.

However, the man from Salem, Massacheustes, feels he is developing a style similar to another famous underdog from less than an hour down the road.

Dohery, whose ancestors hail from Cork and Donegal, explained that “Each fight I am gaining experience, and through preparation I am getting better and better.”

“My boxing style is kind of in your face and gritty.”

“I am known as a skilled brawler. I can box with you – but my style will take the fight right in your face.”

“If any fighter I would have to say I compare myself to the Irish Mickey Ward.”

“He was an in your face gritty boxer as well. No matter what beating he took he always moved forward, that is me 100%.”

Doherty goes into Saturday’s bout, having lost in a New England title bout to Carlos Candelario at the House of Blues on a card which featured Irish punchers Stephen Ormond, TJ Doheny, Michael McLaughlin, Niall Kennedy, and Steve Collins Jr.

The Mantis certainly troubled the Murphy’s Boxing prospect that night, and while frustrated at aspects of his performance, Doherty believes that it was he who beat himself rather than Candelario, and is confident that “win or lose this next fight, I will fight for that New England title again shortly – and take it.”

“I say with confidence that, by the time I get back to him, I will take that belt.”

Indeed Doherty feels what he has learnt from that loss will benefit him on Saturday noting that “I came out stronger than I wanted to the first few rounds and then after that fought into his pace.”

“I learned to conserve more, there is a time and a place for speed and power.”

It bears repeating that his task on Saturday is a gigantic one. Facing a former WSB champion who qualified for the London Olympics only to be denied by politics, Doherty certainly does not want to get involved in an amateur-style fight and admits that “my game plan for this fight is to be as gritty as I can.”

“I don’t want to play chess with this guy, that is what he will want to do.”

For Wang, the bout is his first eight-rounder and a definite step-up in quality, and Doherty feels his hunger can bring him a shock victory, describing how “no one knows how much I fight every single day, not just in the ring.”

“I fought hard my whole life for this stuff.”

“I work my ass off and go in for the win.”

“Tough fights are just opportunities – and I seize opportunity.”

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: [email protected]