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Road Warrior TJ Doheny aiming for undisputed status

With a unification fight with WBA champ and new Matchroom stablemate Danny Roman [26(10)-2(0)-1] a “done deal” according to Eddie Hearn, TJ Doheny looks set to be handed the chance to join recent history makers Carl Frampton, Ryan Burnett and Katie Taylor and become a unified world champ.

However, the Portlaoise native wants more than just two super bantamweight world titles and has plans to become the undisputed champ at 122lbs.

Most likely the 32-year-old, who enjoyed an eleventh round stoppage win over Ryohei Takahashi in the first defence of his IBF title at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, will be second to Katie Taylor, who fights for a third belt on St Patrick’s weekend, in terms of owning all the marbles.

However, if things go his way, the southpaw could come from nowhere to become the first male Irish fighter to achieve undisputed status. 

There are three more champions to beat, but with two of them working with DAZN and the other not tied to a major platform, the fights are easy to make and, having impressed under the bright lights for the first time last Friday, Doheny [21(15)-0] now claims he can focus on unifying the division.

“The main focus now is unifying the division,” he told IFL TV.

“It’s exciting stuff. I got my first defence out of the way. I was a little bit.. putting too much pressure on myself because I was defending my belt. I know it was a fight everyone was expecting me to win, but you still got to get in there and do the work.”

“It’s nice to get the first defence out of the way and now I can 100 percent focus on unifying the division and I really think I have the goods to do it,” he added before stressing he knows it won’t be an easy task.

“We have some stuff to work on. I am not stupid, but we are learning on the job and we are ready to go.”

Having won the title with a brilliant performance in Japan with victory over Ryosuke Iwasa last August and introducing himself to the American fight public on Saturday gone, Doheny now finds himself in a massive unification fight with Roman. 

Ireland’s only reigning male world champ will fight Roman the WBA title holder and the man Hearn claims is the best in the division in LA around April time with the winner likely to progress to a fight with undefeated WBC champ Rey Vargas [32(22)-0] who is affiliated to the DAZN-linked Golden Boy Promotions.

The division’s other champion is WBO beltholder Emmanuel Navarrete [26(22)-1(0)].

Travelling to Roman’s hometown isn’t an issue for ‘The Power’ who gained his world ranking in Australia before registering big wins in Thailand, Japan, and America.

“Eddie’s been talking about all week, but I didn’t want to be talking about unification fights before I defended my title. I am not that kind of fighter. I got Takahashi out of the way now it’s Roman, he was up in the ring tonight.”

“He wants it so it looks like it’s going to happen in April or May,” added the rod warrior before discussing the possibility of hometown advantage for Roman.

“I don’t mind, sure I have been on the road my whole career. It’s only going to be the two of us in the ring so I don’t mind.”


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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 sports for a living for over 20 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