TJ Doheny believes fans will get to see Ireland’s top two active male fighters go at it come August 6th.
Yesterday it was officially confirmed that Michael Conlan [15(8)-0] would return home to the Falls Park in Belfast for a second Féile headline slot on Friday August 6th – and Laois warrior Doheny [20(16)-2(0)] will provide the opposition.
The match up has been greeted with across the board approval as well as excitement.
It’s a former world champion versus Ireland’s first male senior World Championships gold medal winner, outdoors in Belfast, in what is effectively a world title final eliminator.
Some have already argued it’s the greatest all Irish meeting in recent memory. Indeed, it’s been suggested it’s the best since Johnny Caldwell v Freddie Gilroy famously met in Belfast in 1962.
The Portlaoise BC graduate, who held the IBF world title from 2018 to 2019 before losing it in a unification Fight of the Year contender to Danny Roman, isn’t looking back to try to highlight how good a fight it is. Instead, he points to the present, suggesting the 10 round super bantamweight meeting matches Ireland’s two current best fighters.
“It’s arguably Ireland’s top two fighters going at it in front of a large crowd. It doesn’t get much bigger than this for an all-Irish clash and the fans are in for a real treat,” Doheny said.
The eagerly anticipated fight is the Australia-based Irish fighter’s first since his surprise defeat to Ionut Baluta, a fighter Conlan defeated earlier this year, and his first ever professional fight on Irish soil.
The magnitude of his Irish debut certainly isn’t lost on him.
“I’m really happy to be back in action after being out of the ring for over a year. This will be my first time fighting on Irish soil and what a way to make a homecoming.”
The August 6th Falls Park showdown has been sold in some quarters as the perfect test for Conlan and the final step to a possible WBO world title shot.
However, southpaw Doheny still holds world title ambitions and believes this is exactly the kind of challenge he needs to produce his best, something he plans on doing.
“This is the kind of fight that I have been craving since my split decision loss to Danny Roman in a world title unification. High level opposition is what motivates me and helps me raise my game and I cannot wait for this.”