National Elite light flyweight champion Regan Buckley has been working with the IBF beltholder in the build-up to the massive unification fight set for Inglewood, Los Angeles, this weekend – and, having shared the training ring with Doheny, the Wicklow wee man predicts he will emerge victorious live on DAZN and Sky Sports.
The Bray amateur, who had a brief but impressive pro stint, revealed that Doheny [21(15)-0] is in terrific shape and warns Mexican-American Roman that the Irish fighter will have answers for any questions asked come Friday night.
Buckley thinks if, as expected, the WBA champion tries to press the action, he will be picked off and stopped and, if he stands off, will lose a boxing match on points.
“TJ is in unbelievable shape for this fight,” Buckley told Irish-Boxing.com.
“His work ethic is really amazing and I reckon he’s more than ready for any type of fight. You can expect him to be strong, fit and super sharp on fight night.
“If Roman tries to walk him down and walk through his punches I’d predict a mid to late KO for Doheny and if he doesn’t I’d predict a points win for Doheny.”
Buckley reveals that he provided, without consciously trying, the perfect preparation for Roman [26(10)-2(0)-1] and also warns ‘The Power’ is aptly named.
“My style mimics Roman’s in some aspects which is why I think they asked me to spar in the first place. When we were sparring they were happy and didn’t ask me to change anything.”
“There’s a bit of a weight difference so obviously he wasn’t going 100%, he’s a real genuine gentleman but there’s a reason they call him ‘The Power’ and now I know why.”
22-year-old Buckley was all but Doheny’s chief sparring partner for the massive unification clash – and, while the purpose of their spars over a three week period were to help Ireland’s only reigning male world champion to prepare for the toughest and highest profile fight of his career, they served as a great learning for the Paris 2024 hopeful.
The highly-rated Buckley, who holds a pro win over current Irish super bantam champ Carl McDonald during a brief spell in the paid ranks before returning to the vest, was controversially not selected by HPU chief Bernard Dunne for the European U22 Championships last month but thankfully has been getting top level experience elsewhere.
‘The Rocket’ outlined how “to spar a world champion is an unbelievable experience, just to be able to see how they move, how hard they work, and how they are in and out of the ring.”
“You can see why they are the best in the world by their attitude towards the sport. I’ve sparred some amazing world champions such as Christina McMahon, Katie Taylor, and I’ve also done a lot of sparring with the likes of Anthony Cacace and Eric Donovan. Those rounds are invaluable to me.”
“I’ve seen some really cool tricks and how he moves that I will try to carry with me and adapt to the amateur style,” the young fighter adds before describing the boost rounds with Doheny has given him.
“I was delighted he wanted me to spar him and it does give me confidence that my skill set would be on use in preparation for such a big fight. I learned a lot from TJ in the spars.”