From Ireland to Boston: Doheny and Altamura map a trail to a championship
Undefeated junior featherweight prospect TJ Doheny, 16-0 (12), who is currently ranked No. 8 by the WBA and No. 14 by the IBF, looks to make a move on the best of boxing’s bantams in the near future.
The Portlaois, Ireland-born Doheny, who spent the majority of his career in Australia, has made the move to the United States to see where he can take his career.
So it’s been Ireland to Australia to his current home in Melrose, Massachusetts. It’s now full speed ahead for the exciting super bantamweight prospect. While it’s early days yet for Doheny, he has been a prospect that has shown promise early in his career.
After turning professional in the spring of 2012, Doheny fought for the Pan Asian Boxing Association (PABA) super bantamweight title in just his fifth bout. He successfully defended that title six times.
Doheny’s manager Mike Altamura, who runs a busy stable of fighters out of his Melbourne, Australia-based MJA Boxing, is considered one of the most knowledgeable young managers in the game.
UCNLive caught up with Altamura to talk about his prospect, his move to the United States and the next steps in his career.
“He is a sharp boxing southpaw with good amateur experience,” said Altamura of his charge. “He actually holds a win over Carl Frampton from the amateurs.”
Doheny will take the next steps in his career, out of the United States. Asked why they didn’t consider the fertile Irish boxing market for Doheny, Altamura thought it was good timing, a good opportunity and the right move to go stateside with his Irish fighter.
“We looked at a lot of options and we decided to go with Murphy’s Boxing. Murphy’s Boxing is based out of Boston, which is usually the boxing promotional wing fronted by (bassist/vocalist) Ken Casey of the (American Celtic punk band) Dropkick Murphys,” Altamura said. “Ireland is certainly a possibility and a homecoming is something I’ve discussed with Ken. Murphy’s Boxing has a great following among the Irish community in the New England area, so TJ, being a world-ranked Irishman, fits into their promotional picture.”
While the move will require a switch in trainers, the longtime team of Doheny and trainer Tony Del Vecchio will still remain a unit.
“TJ is training with Hector Bermudez in Massachusetts,” said Altamura. “Tony Del Vecchio has trained him for the first 15 fights and done a fantastic job. He will remain present in his career but, while TJ is Boston-based, Hector will serve as the lead trainer”, said Altamura.
Asked about the possibility of looking to break him in in Ireland, Altamura replied, “There could be a homecoming in 2017. That is on our agenda definitely.”
While Australia, and certainly Ireland, have passionate fight fans, the U.S.A. is where fighters, the world over, look to make their mark.
So, for now, the “WBO Asia Pacific 2015 Manager of the Year” Altamura, Doheny and Team MJA are looking to make their mark in North America.
And it’s clear that Altamura is genuinely excited about future possibilities for the undefeated Doheny.
“Fans are going to love this kid. He is a real fan-friendly fighter,” said Altamura. “Very hardened kid from tough stock, he is a sharp-boxing southpaw with a wealth of amateur experience. What endeared me to him as a fighter is that he has the ability to box, move, and utilize his speed to cruise against opponents on the way up but the Irishman in him brings a real ferocity to the ring. He’s a pure boxer that doesn’t mind taking chances to exchange inside. He’s a five-time Irish amateur champion. I believe his future is at 118 pounds. We’re targeting (IBF titleholder) Lee Haskins, (WBA titlist) Rau’shee Warren, whomever our promoter puts in front of us. We are ready to go. He’s a pure boxer that doesn’t mind a gritty scrap.”
And while TJ is young and developing, Altamura seems genuinely excited about how things are developing with Murphy’s Boxing and the possibility of achieving their ultimate goal of working toward a world title shot.
“TJ is a talented kid with fast hands and a sharp boxing brain and this is the natural progression to building towards a world title,” said Altamura.