That’s the prediction of TJ Doheny [17(13)-0] ahead of his IBF world title final eliminator with established name Evgeny Gradovich, which is set for Friday December 15th.
The Portlaoise super bantamweight secured a World ranking when most are still trading leather with journeymen and, since his sixth career victory, he has slowly moved up the rankings.
He has been on the verge of a big fight for almost two years now, but has remained an under the radar operator. A move to Murphys Boxing and the US East Coast has raised his profile somewhat, but outside of Australian and Irish fans ‘The Power’ isn’t a name.
While he claims that, along with the lack of a big money promoter for most of his career, hampered his big fight chances – he does believe it’s a big advantage going into the biggest fight of his life.
It’s an advantage the undefeated southpaw won’t have post-Gradovich as he feels his performance will put him on the map and top of the queue for a fight with champion Ryosuke Iwasa next year.
“I don’t know anyone over there and they don’t know me so I feel the pressure is off me. But you best believe they will know who I am once I do a job on him,” Doheny explained to Irish-Boxing.com.
“Of course it’s great to be up against a well known fighter because it will help raise my profile in the boxing world, I’ve pretty much come in under the radar to date, having fought most of my career in Australia,” he added before stressing he wasn’t upset his big chance has come against a former featherweight World champion away from home.
“I didn’t really think much of it as it’s a world title elimination bout and I know nothing is going to come easy at this level, no matter who stepped up to face me.”
When Doheny says he doesn’t give much credence to who he had to face to secure a shot at a World title, it doesn’t mean he isn’t Evgeny Gradovich [23(9)-2(1)-1] aware.
The fighter, who holds a win over one Carl Frampton in the amateurs, knows what the former World champion brings to the table and believes it will be five star meal versus pub grub come December 15th.
“There’s not a lot to think of him really. He’s a straight up pressure fighter there is no more to him than that, he doesn’t do anything else. I know I am superior to him in every department and come December 15th I’ll get my chance to prove it.”
As stated previously, Doheny had to wait for his chance despite being highly ranked for most of his career.
There is no doubt experience didn’t match that World title eligibility. Rounds and tests were needed to ensure he was big fight ready.
However, he does feel his chance may have come earlier if he had the backing of a big TV promoter and is delighted to finally get the opportunity to show the World what he is capable of.
“This is something I’ve been pushing towards for the past 18 months. I’ve been banging on about it for long enough so it’s great that my managers Mike Altamura and Tony Del Vecchio have finally been able to secure a final eliminator for me.”
“I’ve been in the rankings for a long time alright but that’s because I jumped at opportunities when they arose early in my career. Since then I’ve kept on working away getting the W’s while climbing into the Top 5 in the world but I had to stay very patient while waiting for bigger things to come to fruition.”
“You don’t always get what you’re looking for in this game. Anyone in the pro’s will tell you that those without the luxury of having big time promotional companies and TV backing find it very hard to nail down the big fights you really want and are forced to play the waiting game.”
Doheny may have had to be patient over the last year and a half, but the wait may have been a blessing in disguise.
He did get the chance to fight in America and has had more time to work with Hector Bermudez, something he admits he has benefited from.
“I’ve come on massively since moving to Boston and linking up with my coach Hector Bermudez. I’m becoming a more rounded pro and we’re adding those extra little things that you need to succeed at world level. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by world class fighters in the gym and I’m picking up so much here every day.”