Mick Conlan v TJ Doheny – CONFIRMED for Féile Fight Night

Mick Conlan will fight former world champion TJ Doheny in a huge all-Irish super bantamweight showdown atop the Féile Fight Night.

This morning it was confirmed that Conlan [15(8)-0] would return home to the Falls Park in Belfast for a second headline slot on Friday August 6th – and Portlaoise’s Doheny [20(16)-2(0)], a managerial stablemate, has just been announced as his opponent

The highest-level all-Irish fight in recent memory – perhaps stretching back to Johnny Caldwell v Freddie Gilroy in 1962 – the ten-rounder is also essentially a de-facto world title final eliminator.

Also confirmed this evening, fans will be at the event – the total attendance will be down from the 12,000 that were at the 2019 Féile but it will still, by far, be the largest boxing event to take place in Ireland or Britain since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.

Having worked his way up into the mandatory position, southpaw Doheny sensationally won the IBF super bantamweight title in Japan back in 2018, defeating home favourite Ryosuke Iwasa. A deal with Matchroom and one successful defence followed before a narrow defeat in a Fight of the Year unification with Danny Roman. Doheny’s rebuild, though, was derailed last year when he lost a sluggish eight-rounder to Romanian Ionut Baluta in Dubai.

Baluta went on to stop Davey Oliver Joyce and put it up to Conlan in April but was outpointed. That win saw 29-year-old Conlan solidify his place atop the WBO rankings and he is now eyeing up the winner of September’s WBO-WBC unification between Stephen Fulton and Brandon Figueroa. First, however, he must pass this acid test versus 34-year-old Doheny – who himself is looking the jump back up the ladder into title fights having stepped on a snake in Dubai.

While this fight is only 37 days away, Conlan has clarified that the match-up itself has been locked in for the past six weeks – with the delay in announcement presumably due to the general uncertainty of putting on a major event during a global pandemic.

An undercard for August 6th is yet to be added but Irish-Boxing.com understands that Top Rank starlet Paddy Donovan will appear, Tyrone McKenna will box Zhankosh Turarov, and common sense would suggest that local lads Padraig McCrory and Sean McComb will also feature. While unconfirmed, it is believed that there is a limit of nine fights in total on the card.

TV details are yet to be confirmed and while BT Sport showed Conlan’s last Féile outing, and indeed all five of his fights on this side of the Atlantic, Top Rank’s new deal with Sky Sports suggests that it will instead be on the bigger satellite channel. In North America the bout will be screened on the ESPN+ app.

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