TJ Doheny laughs off in-ring challenge from former champ following World Title win


TJ Doheny [20(14)-0] had been a world champion for less than five minutes before receiving his first public challenge.

The Portlaoise southpaw sensationally claimed the IBF super bantamweight title this morning in Tokyo with a close points win over holder Ryosuke Iwasa [25(16)-3(2)].

Considering the close nature of the bout, a rematch between the pair would look to make sense as a potential option for Doheny but another Japanese former world title holder wants a piece of ‘The Power’.

Former WBO bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda [35(20)-2(0)] was ringside in the Korakuen Hall today and entered the ring afterwards to offer a challenge to Doheny.

The Irish 31-year-old, enjoying his breakthrough moment with his team and family, was not appreciative of the interruption. Doheny told Japanese media afterwards that Kameda was a “bitch” and, while he shoved him away, “he’s lucky he didn’t get a smack.”

“He came up, trying to be the man, ‘oh, me, you fight next’.”

“So I told him ‘get out of here, this is my moment, this is my title, get the fuck out of here’.”

27-year-old Kameda is odd among Japanese fighters in that he built his career, largely, in Mexico. ‘El Mexicanitio’ won his world title in 2013 in the Philippines versus Paulus Ambunda and defended it thrice before losing successive fights to England’s Jamie McDonnell in 2015.

Moving up in weight, he has won four on the spin in non-title ten rounders – including over Mike Tawatchi who Doheny defeated in his IBF final eliminator.

Kameda is ranked #2 by the WBA and WBA, #9 by the WBO, and #3 by the IBF. Indeed, following today’s events – with IBF #1 Doheny beating the champion and the #2 slot being vacant – Kameda is in line to become the highest-ranked fighter with the IBF and a de-facto mandatory challenger.

Things were a bit more respectful with Iwasa
Things were a bit more respectful with Iwasa

The fight today was a mandatory defence for Iwasa meaning Doheny will likely be given the chance to have a voluntary defence should he avail of it.

One big fight on the horizon is a unification with WBO champion Isaac Dogboe – who defends his belt next week versus another Japanese super bantam, Hidenori Otake. ESPN+ picked up today’s fight, airing it in America on the streaming service and Top Rank are on record saying that this was to introduce fans to a potential unification opponent for Dogboe.

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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