UNDEFEATED LAOIS BOXER TJ Doheny will fight for the IBF World super-bantamweight title in Tokyo on Thursday 16 August.
The 31-year-old Portaloise man earned his shot as mandatory challenger in December but was forced to play the waiting game as champion Ryosuke Iwasa of Japan opted for a voluntary defence against unheralded Filipino Ernesto Saulong.
Sydney-based Doheny, though, whose record stands at 19-0(14KOs), has at last landed his shot at world honours and will continue on his globetrotting crusade to face Iwasa [25-2, 16KOs] in the latter’s home country.
Doheny, who’s promoted by Murphy’s Boxing – the highly regarded company ran by Dropkick Murphy’s frontman Ken Casey – last fought on Saint Patrick’s Day in Boston, blasting out Mike Oliver inside two rounds.
Were ‘The Power’ to be successful in his Tokyo title tilt, he would become only the second ever fighter from Ireland or the UK to win a world championship on Japanese soil – this 23 years on from Wayne McCullough’s legendary victory over WBC World bantamweight champ Yasuei Yakushiji.
Iwasa will provide a formidable challenge, especially on home soil. Since suffering a sixth-round stoppage defeat to former Ryan Burnett opponent Lee Haskins – who was then the IBF bantamweight king – the 28-year-old has won six straight, four quick, up at super-bantam.