World Champion TJ Doheny signs with Matchroom Boxing – Fights NEXT WEEK


The first big announcement of 2019 has dropped – Ireland’s only reigning male world champion has linked up with Matchroom Boxing.

It has been confirmed this evening that IBF super bantamweight champion TJ Doheny [20(14)-0] has signed with Eddie Hearn’s outfit and, in the biggest surprise, will defend his belt for the first time NEXT WEEKEND.

The Laois fighter has been added to the Matchroom-DAZN bill at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on Friday January 18th.

No opponent has been confirmed yet for Doheny who will be making a voluntary defence of his red belt. It is assumed that the opponent will be drawn from the organisation’s current Top 15, perhaps versus the likes of Yenefil Vicente or Ludumo Lamati.

32-year-old Doheny, who was an Elite Senior finalist as an amateur, is based in Sydney having emigrated to Australia in his early 20s however he is trained in Boston by Hector Bermudez.

Formerly with Murphys Boxing, the Portlaoise puncher was manoeuvred into the mandatory challenger position, defeating Mike Tawatchi in a final eliminator in Thailand before pulling off a sensational win in Japan last August. Here, at the famous Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Doheny dethroned Ryosuke Iwasa over twelve rounds.

‘The Power’ injured his thumb in this bout and was not expected back in the ring this soon – however he had spent Christmas in camp in Boston.

Indeed, Doheny seemed to be going down the path of having lucrative fights in Japan with any number of contenders but his link-up with Matchroom opens up all sorts of other options.

WBA champ Daniel Roman is affiliated to the DAZN platform, as is Golden Boy’s WBC titlist Rey Vargas, so unifications could be in the pipeline. In addition to this, former unified bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett of Belfast is also a Matchroom fighter and, should he move up in weight when he returns from injury, an all-Irish world title fight is a possibility.

Doheny becomes the fourth Irish fighter in the Matchroom stable alongside Burnett, Jono Carroll, and our other world champion Katie Taylor who holds the WBA and IBF belts.

The fight card next weekend is headlined by a WBO middleweight title defence from Demetrius Andrade versus Artur Akavov alongside appearances from Jarrell Miller, Jorge Linares, Chris Algieri, Reshat Mati, Cornell Hines, and Alexis Rocha. In addition to this, Katie Taylor rival Amanda Serrano will look to become a seven-weight world champ when she takes on Eva Voraberger for the WBO super fly title.

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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: [email protected]