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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Portlaoise's TJ Doheny confirmed for world-title unification fight in California

The undefeated Laois man faces American rival Danny Roman at Inglewood’s Forum venue on 26 April.

TJ Doheny Defeats Ryohei Takahashi by 11th Round TKO at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden.
TJ Doheny Defeats Ryohei Takahashi by 11th Round TKO at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden.
Image: Joel Plummer

IBF WORLD SUPER-BANTAMWEIGHT champion TJ Doheny will face his WBA equivalent, Danny Roman of Los Angeles, in a unification bout in the latter’s home county on 26 April.

Portlaoise’s ‘Power’, 32, and ‘Babyfaced Assassin’ Roman, 28, will square off at Inglewood, California’s 17,500-capacity Forum in a career-biggest fight for both men which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in Ireland and DAZN in the USA.

Doheny [21-0, 15KOs] and Roman [26-2-1, 10KOs] verbally agreed to the scrap at Madison Square Garden in December when the American entered the ring to congratulate Doheny for his first world-title defence against Japan’s Ryohei Takahashi.

The pair then squared off for the cameras ahead of what remained, then, merely a prospective showdown.

This evening, however, Doheny’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that the fight between the Laois man and his LA rival has been signed and sealed, with delivery due in two months’ time.

Doheny and the Golden Boy-promoted Roman will provide chief support on a Matchroom card headlined by an eagerly anticipated rematch between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada for the WBC World and Ring Magazine super-flyweight titles.

“This was my ideal scenario,” said Doheny. “Get the voluntary defence out of the way, then go straight into the unification, so great work from my team and Eddie Hearn with Matchroom Boxing USA for getting this fight on. It’s unbelievable, it would mean the world to me. It’s just another boxed ticked: after I won the world title, the next goal was to become a unified champion. I’m looking forward to achieving that.

We met in the ring after the fight in New York, and there was a lot of respect for each other. That’s the way it should be. We’re two world-class fighters, two world champions in the division. A fight like this doesn’t need any false hype. I think that when you’ve got two world-class fighters like this, that’s enough of a selling point for a high-calibre fight like this.

“Danny’s a great fighter, he adds a lot of pressure; he’s a great puncher, great punch selection — he’s got it all really. It’s going to be a great fight between us, and I won’t be surprised if the fans get to see a bit of a war.

Fighting Danny in his home city, that doesn’t bother me. I’ve been fighting on the road my whole career, so it will be no different to me. It’s me and him in the ring, and it’s going to be all-action.

Boxing 2019 - TJ Doheny Defeats Ryohei Takahashi by 11th Round TKO Doheny will become only the fourth Irish boxer to become a unified world champion should he emerge victorious on 26 April. Source: Joel Plummer

Added Roman: “This is the biggest and most important fight of my career. I haven’t been shy about wanting to unifying the division. This is the fight that I’ve been asking for since I became a world champion. I need to deliver on my goal of becoming the best and a win against another world champion puts me in that conversation.

It will be a new experience for me because I’m not fighting a challenger, I’m fighting another beltholder. It’s exciting in a lot of ways. I’ll be at my best because I’m planning to add another title on 26 April.

It feels pretty damn good to fight in front of my hometown fans. My last five fights have been away from home, but I don’t feel any added pressure in this homecoming of sorts. I know I have a job to do. Nothing is easy at this point. It’s going to be a heck of a fight. Two world champions fighting for control of the division. What more could you want?

Victory would see Doheny become only the fourth unified world champion Irish boxer after Carl Frampton, Ryan Burnett and Katie Taylor.

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