Tomoki Kameda first defence a possibility for World Champion TJ Doheny


Less than two minutes after becoming a world champion TJ Doheny [20(14)-0] was already fielding his first challenges.

In the immediate moments after being crowned IBF super bantamweight champion in Tokyo earlier this month, the Portlaoise puncher was confronted by Japanese fighter Tomoki Kameda [35(20)-2(0)] who entered the ring and began calling for a fight.

Doheny, in no uncertain terms, brushed off the former WBO bantamweight titlist’s challenge but a big-money return to Japan is certainly a possibility.

READ: TJ Doheny laughs off Tomoki Kameda challenge

The Sydney-based, Boston-trained southpaw did what few other away fighters have done when he dethroned Ryosuke Iwasa at the Korakuen Hall and his manager admits that Doheny could be back in the Land of the Rising Sun again before long.

Mike Altamura told BoxingScene that a Kameda fight could happen “if the money’s right.”

“Let them send the contract. TJ fears nobody.”

31-year-old Doheny is currently recovering from surgery to rectify a fractured thumb suffered in the sensational Iwasa win.

A big-money voluntary defence versus Kameda on New Year’s Eve – the biggest day on the Japanese boxing calendar – could appeal.

The outspoken 27-year-old is known for his ‘El Mexicanitio’ ring persona and has fought much of his career in Mexicao and the U.S.

Winning a 118lbs world title in 2013 versus Paulus Ambunda, he defended thrice before losing successive fights to England’s Jamie McDonnell in 2015.

Since moving up to super bantam, Kameda has won four on the spin in and is ranked #2 by the WBA and WBA, #9 by the WBO, and #3 by the IBF.

Should ‘The Power’ elect to face someone else next, Kameda still has a good chance of being next in line for a mandatory shot as he is currently the IBF’s highest-ranked fighter.

Whether it is or isn’t Kameda next, Doheny would look to have options going forward.

His managerial stablemate Isaac Dogboe [20(14)-0] holds the WBO belt which he sensationally defended at the weekend with a first-round stoppage of another Japanese fighter, Hidenori Otake.

Before Doheny’s win over Iwasa, a unification had been mooted – and listed as a reasoning behind ESPN+’s broadcast of the bout.

Ghanaian Dogboe, however, did not mention Doheny in the aftermath of his win in Arizona on Saturday – instead mentioning WBA champion Daniel Roman [25(9)-2(0)-1, who defends versus Gavin McDonnell in October, and WBC beltholder Rey Vargas [32(22)-0].

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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