Former Champ Doheny Confident Of Securing A Date With The Monster

Boxing Scene

Former IBF super-bantamweight champion TJ Doheny is experiencing a renaissance, demonstrating that despite his advancing years, the 37-year-old remains a threat within the 122lbs division. 

Doheny (26-4, 20 KOs) defeated Ryosuke Iwasa to claim the IBF super-bantamweight title in 2018 and successfully defended it once before suffering defeat in a unification attempt against then-WBA title holder Daniel Roman in April 2019. 

Before June last year, Doheny suffered defeats in three of his previous five fights following the loss to Roman in 2019, dropping decisions to Ionut Baluta, Michael Conlan and Sam Goodman. 

The Australian-based Irishman has seen his last three contests take place in Japan, with each win coming inside the distance.

The knockout streak has seen the former world champion defeat Kazuki Nakajima (June 2023, 15-2-1 (12 KOs), Japhethlee Llamido (October 2023, 11-1, 4 KOs) and, last time out, Bryl Bayogos (7-1-1, 2 KOs) which featured on Nayoa Inoue’s successful undisputed title defense against Luis Nery at the Tokyo Dome.

Dohney’s run of form has also seen him catapulted to No. 3 in the WBO ratings and he is rated 10 and nine by the IBF and WBC respectively. 

“I am very much in the mix right now,” Dohney told Irish-boxing.com, regarding his chances of securing an opportunity to face undisputed champion Inoue. “Especially according to Bob Arum’s latest statement on Thursday in Perth. It’s looking very likely that I will be the front-runner in September, with [Sam] Goodman coming sometime after that.”

Goodman was ringside to witness Inoue’s clinical title defense against Nery earlier this month, entering the ring for a face-off with Inoue post-fight.

Doheny believes the post-fight photo opportunity between Inoue and Goodman was nothing more than a PR exercise for the Australian to boost his profile in Japan ahead of an expected title opportunity either later this year or early in 2025.

“Goodman’s team has stated they would prefer to go later in the year or the first fight of 2025. So I think that the call out in the ring was a bit of machismo and was done more to raise his [Goodman] profile over there than anything else. To be honest, I wanted to jump in the ring, grab that mic, and say my piece, but I kept it together,” Dohney added.

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