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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 4 March 2021

Weight on the button for Portlaoise's TJ Doheny ahead of tomorrow's date with destiny in Tokyo

‘The Power’ was ripped and ready at the 122-pound limit.

CHALLENGER TJ DOHENY and champion Ryosuke Iwasa have both weighed in under the 122-pound limit for their IBF World super-bantamweight title clash in Tokyo tomorrow (9am Irish time, 5pm local time).

Portaloise’s Doheny [19-0, 14KOs] tipped the scales at 122 on the button, while home fighter Iwasa [25-2, 16KOs] came in a quarter of a pound under.

The 31-year-old ‘Power’ emigrated to Australia a decade ago having become disillusioned with boxing following consecutive defeats to John Joe Nevin which cost him a place at the Beijing Olympics.

Were Doheny to beat Iwasa in his own backyard, he would become only the second fighter from Ireland or the UK to win a world title on Japanese soil, and a first since Wayne McCullough in 1995.

He would also join the greatest Irish boxer of all time, Jimmy McLarnin, as the only fighter from this island to become a world champion without ever having fought on home soil.

Iwasa has twice been beaten by southpaws, on both occasions inside the distance.

Doheny, a lefty himself, highly fancies his chances of mowing down the rangy Japanese stylist at the 2,000-capacity Korakuen Hall tomorrow.

The fight is seen as a pick ‘em contest by the few bookmakers offering a market: Doheny is currently evens with Paddy Power to raise the IBF strap while Iwasa is a 5/6 favourite, but those odds were exactly reversed as recently as yesterday.

The pair’s title fight is to be streamed live on ESPN+ in the States, a subscription service which isn’t currently available in Ireland through conventional means.

‘Sh**’s getting real’ for TJ Doheny as he unassumingly seeks Irish sporting greatness in Tokyo

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