Roman Ruler – TJ Doheny plots unification scrap

TJ Doheny believes there is no reason not to have unification fights in the 122lbs division and he will target one of his fellow super bantamweight strap holders if he defeats Ryohei Takahasi in New York tomorrow night [Friday January 18th]

The IBF super bantamweight champion defends his belt for the first time when he faces Japan’s Takahasi at The Theater at Madison Square Garden – and while he is fully focused on his opponent, the southpaw admits the next career goal is to become a unified champion.

Thankfully, Doheny [20(14)-0] feels he is in the division and with the broadcaster to do it.

Just last week the 32-year-old was confirmed to have linked up with Matchroom Boxing and his bout will be shown live on DAZN and Sky Sports this weekend.

Under the Matchroom banner there is also WBA titlist Danny Roman while WBC champ Rey Vargas is promoted by Golden Boy who are also affiliated to DAZN. Then there is new WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete who is, at present, promotionally weak and could easily also end up on the over-the-top streaming platform.

Portlaoise’s Doheny would be open to fighting any of the three, but believes new stablemate Roman [26(10)-2(0)-1] would be ideal for him.

Not only are they both signed to Matchroom, making the fight easy to make, but ‘The Power’ believes the American, who like Doheny won his title in Japan, is suited stylistically to him.

Speaking to IFL TV, Doheny outlined how “stylistically, I think Daniel Roman is suited for me. That’s a great unification fight for me.”

“He puts on plenty of pressure and is aggressive, so I know it would be tough but I think it would be a breakout fight for me if it can be made.”

“The Roman fight has been talked about and that’s what I have an eye on, but I’m not overlooking my opponent on Friday.”

It’s a fight his new promoter Eddie Hearn is also keen to make, stating as much as soon as he signed Doheny.

The Matchroom boss has made clear that, if the Irishman emerges victorious tonight, they “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.”


Jonny Stapleton 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: