TJ Doheny wants to prove he is more than a champion


#5 with the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, #6 with The Ring, #7 with BoxRec.com, TJ Doheny [21(15)-0] believes he will become known as ‘the man’ on April 26th.

The IBF super bantamweight champ looks to unify next month in L.A. when he takes on WBA champion Danny Roman [26(10)-2(0)-1] and feels it’s a fight between the two best boxers in the division.

The clash plays out as chief support at The Forum in Inglewood to the rematch between WBC super fly champion Srisaket Sor Rungvasai and Juan Francisco Estrada, a repeat of the 2018 Fight of the Year contender, and will feature live on DAZN and Sky Sports.

Portlaoise’s Doheny won the title on away soil last August and, after recovering from a thumb injury sustained in the upsetting of Ryosuke Iwasa, he would take a voluntary versus Ryohei Takahashi.

Now he goes back on the road and he describes how “this is the kind of fight I want to be involved in, it’s a dream of mine.”

“As soon as I won my world title it’s what I’ve been pushing for, for unifications so I just want to thank Danny Roman for taking the fight on and wanting to unify the division.

“In my opinion it’s probably the two best 122lbs fighters in the world going off right now and the winner of this fight will solidify as the number one 122lbs fighter in the world.”

“I’m really excited. It’s great to be in with a fighter of Danny’s calibre and it’s the two best super bantamweights in the world. How much more exciting can it get?”

Acknowledging the fractured four-belt nature of modern boxing, Doheny feels he needs to do more than be ‘just’ a world champion to stand out.

The 32-year-old explained how “I’m in boxing to prove I’m the best in the world and on April 26, I’ll have my chance to prove that.”

“I like to think it says I’ve got the guts to step in there with the best. I’m doing the right thing by professional boxing.”

“I think when you’ve got the belt, it’s almost like a semi-final and then you have to step in and box the other champions to prove you’re the best in the division.

Like when they first met following Doheny’s win over Takahashi in New York in January, the Irishman and Roman were all smiles at last night’s press conference.

The build-up to the unification will not be explosive, but Doheny promises that April 26th will be completely different to the days and weeks that go before it.

The Sydney-based, Boston-trained, Laois man noted how “there’s a lot of respect between me and Danny, we’re two respectful fighters, we don’t do any of that trash talk or any of that stuff.”

“A fight of this magnitude doesn’t need any of that stuff but, come April 26th and that first bell goes, that respect will be gone out the window and fans can expect fireworks.”

“I think the fight is going to take a couple of rounds to warm up and then there’ll be some fireworks. At the end of the day, there are two world titles on the line and neither of us are going to back down.”

“I believe I’m the best fighter in the 122lb division and if I perform to the best of my ability and stay focused for the full 12 rounds, I’ll be taking the two world titles home with me.”

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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