WBA pave way for massive TJ Doheny unification fight


It’s gone from being on to being ‘on on’.

The WBA have given a super bantamweight unification clash between their champion Danny Roman [26(10)-2(0)-1] and Ireland’s IBF belt holder TJ Doheny [21(15)-0] their blessing and the Portlaoise fighter will get the chance to join unify titles in just his third world title fight.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, who promotes both champions, had revealed the pair had agreed to fight and looked set to be a co-feature with a rematch of the Fight of the Year Contender between WBC super fly champion Srisaket Sor Rungvasai and Juan Francisco Estrada. 

Doheny and Roman came face-to-face following ‘The Power’s’ voluntary defence knockout win over Ryohei Takahashi in New York last month – shaking hands, posing for pictures, and calling for the fight.

The bumper bill, which could also feature Jessie Vargas and Kal Yafai, is slated for Saturday April 6th at a to-be-confirmed venue in Los Angeles and will be shown live on Sky Sports and the DAZN over-the-top streaming platform.

READ: Hearn reveals Roman-Doheny unification will appear on massive card

However, a potential snag was that the WBA had Roman down to face his mandatory challenger Murodjon Akhmadaliev [5(4)-0]and initially stated if terms couldn’t be agreed the fight would go to February 13th purse bids. 

Irish fight fans may remember Akhmadaliev as the Uzbek opponent who dropped but was defeated by Mick Conlan in the 2015 World Amateur Championships final in Doha back in 2015.

Relocating to America, the Central Asian has rapidly risen to the #1 spot with the WBA following an Inter-Continetal rankings title win and defence versus Ramon Contreras and Isaac Zarate respectively.

Hearn would note recently that he had requested an exemption from the WBA to facilitate the unification and it has been confirmed that 28-year-old Roman will be granted a pass by the sanctioning body to pursue the Doheny fight.

“The purse bid is off,” Alex Camponovo, executive matchmaker for Thompson Boxing — Roman’s co-promoter —informed BoxingScene.com.

“An announcement [regarding Roman’s next fight] is coming soon.”

Doheny’s IBF mandatory will be the victor of the February 16th eliminator between Cesar Juarez and Ryosuke Iwasa – whom the Sydney-based boxer dethroned in Tokyo last August.

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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