Headline News

World Title Opponent CONFIRMED for TJ Doheny

TJ Doheny‘s opponent has been confirmed for his maiden World title defence next week.

The IBF super bantamweight champion will defend his belt for the first time next Friday [January 18th] at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Doheny [20(14)-0] will face Japanese brawler Ryohei Takahashi [16(6)-3(1)]-1] in what will be his first fight under the banner of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions.

It was reported earlier this week by ESPN’s Dan Rafael that Takahashi would be the opponent for ‘The Power’ should visa regarding his paperwork be finalised. AsianBoxing.info have relayed that this clerical work has been completed, citing a blog post from Takahashi’s promoter, Ichitaro Ishii.

While Matchroom are yet to officially announce the bout, which will be shown live on DAZN and Sky Sports, it is now also listed on BoxRec.

28-year-old Takahashi is ranked #10 in the world with the IBF (#39 on BoxRec) and would come into the bout off the back of a five-fight win streak.

Last year the Yokohama brawler went to Thailand where he defeated Mike Tawatchi, who Doheny has also beat in a final eliminator, to claim the IBF Pan-Pacific ranking title while he also holds a win over the previously touted Kazuki Tanaka.

The Far East fighter’s losses came in his debut back in 2012, in the away corner versus Aussie Andrew Moloney in 2016, and a narrow split-loss to countryman Yuki Iriguchi.

32-year-old Doheny, who defeated Takahashi’s countryman Ryosuke Iwasa in Tokyo last August to claim the title, will be a strong favourite for the fight and the match-up will not be overly-lauded.

That said, considering the context of the introductory fight on the DAZN platform – the short notice, Doheny returning from a thumb injury, a potential unification with WBA champ Danny Roman next – it is about as good as could have been expected if not better.

The card in six days time is headlined by a first WBO middleweight title defence from Demetrius Andrade versus Artur Akavov alongside appearances from Jarrell Miller, Jorge Linares, Chris Algieri, Reshat Mati, Cornell Hines, Nikosy Solomon, 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 Austrian Eva Voraberger for the vacant 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: joneill6@tcd.ie