Unification move a no-brainer for TJ Doheny

Back in February Japan’s former world champion Ryosuke Iwasa defeated Mexican Cesar Juarez to become the mandatory challenger for the IBF super bantamweight title he once held.

That red belt is now in the possession of Ireland’s TJ Doheny, who upset Iwasa last August in Tokyo, and the rematch won’t be happening for a while yet.

On the face of it, a lucrative trip back to Japan to face an opponent you have already beaten could have appealed to road warrior Doheny [21(15)-0] but the Portlaoise southpaw was having none of it.

Following his title win, Doheny would sign with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions and, after an introductory voluntary title defence versus Ryohei Takahashi, goes into a unification with WBA champion Danny Roman this Friday in Los Angeles.

There was no point in delaying the big fights argues the admirable Doheny who outlined how “we’re the top two guys in the division. He wants to unify, I want to unify, It’s what all world champions should be trying to do.”

“I keep saying this. You’ve become the world champion and it’s a dream come true – don’t get me wrong, but then you’ve got to raise the bar. What’s next? It’s unification.”

This weekend’s unification acts as the chief support to the rematch between WBC super fly champ Srisaket Sor Rungvasai and Juan Francisco Estrada at the Inglewood Forum.

It’s been a respectful build-up to the fight with his Matchroom stablemate and Doheny is just happy that he has an opponent that shares his outlook.

“Fair play for Danny for taking on the unification,” stated the 32-year-old

“It’s what the fans want and it’s what the fighters want and it’s great for professional boxing.”

“It’s great to be in this position. It’s what every fighter wants. Obviously there was the world title fight but ultimately you want the unification and to cement your name at the top of the division.”


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com