TJ Doheny looks forward to a IBF junior featherweight title shot in 2018
There is a 122-pound thunder Down Under and his Irish eyes are indeed smiling!
Portlaois, Ireland-born, Australia resdient TJ Doheny, 18-0 (13), defeated veteran Pipat Chaiporn, 44-10-1 (27), on December 20, in Bangkok, Thailand, to become the the mandatory challenger to IBF world junior featherweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa in his next fight. The fight should take place in the first quarter of 2018 and could see Doheny becomes Ireland’s third reigning current world champion.
Doheny, who recently became a father for the first time last May, was originally scheduled to face former world champion Evgeny Gradovich before an eye problem forced Gradovich to withdraw from the bout and ultimately retire altogether.
Doheny was coming into the bout off six stoppage wins. However Doheny was forced to go the distance, winning a split decision, with two judges giving Doheny the nod, while the third judge ruled in favor of Chaiporn.
Doheny has been working toward a world title shot since turning pro, five-and-a-half-years ago and, with the victory over Chaiporn, it looks like his dream could very well become a reality in the New Year.
UCNLive.com caught up with Australia’s hottest young manager and the man guiding Doheny, Mike Altamura. As he also guides a very impressive stable of champions and contenders out of his MJA Entertainment company, Altamura was impressed with Doheny’s latest performance and is excited for what is in store next year.
“It was a good performance. He definitely needed some rounds but he looked good.” said Altamura. “I mean, he’s in there with a gritty and game fighter, who isn’t going to give you a break, but TJ pressed all night and controlled most of the rounds.”
Doheny is promoted by Ken Casey, of Murphy Boxing, in Boston, Massachusetts. And if Altamura has his way, we may see Doheny heading to Beantown for his title shot.
“We are looking at March or April for a shot at champion Iwasa of Japan. Hopefully we can bring the title fight to a Murphy’s boxing card in Boston around St. Paddy’s Day. That would be a great fit for Doheny,” said Altamura.
While Doheny isn’t getting an easy assignment in champion Iwasa, who has stopped 16 of his 26 opponents, Altamura likes what Doheny brings to the fight.
“He’s a southpaw with speed and excellent timing,” said Altamura. “He’s a clever thinker in there and he’s getting better all the time. This guy is a joy to manage. He’s so hard-working. He’s a student of the game and he’s really hitting his stride right, which is great to see.”