TJ Doheny will fight for a world title next year following an impressive win in Thailand this morning.
The Portlaoise super bantamweight defeated home favourite Mike Tawatchi in an IBF final eliminator and will now fight for the belt in his next fight.
Doheny had initially been due to face former IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich, but had the Russian winter swapped for the Thai summer when Gradovich pulled out with potentially career-ending vision problems.
‘The Power’ took the change in his stride however and was well on top today in Bangkok in a nationally televised fight.
Doheny was too big and strong for Tawatchi and pressed for the duration of the fight, building momentum throughout. The South East Asian landed some nice short counters inside, but spent much of his time in retreat – and, towards the end, in survival mode.
Doheny was dominating with his workrate, hurting his opponent in the penultimate round and taking a much-deserved win.
The final tallies were, incredibly, split – with Doheny winning 117-111 and 116-112 on two of the cards, but Filipino judge Gil Co turning in a horrendous, if consequential 115-113 for Tawatchi.
The win sees Doheny improve to 18(13)-0, while Tawatchi drops to 44(27)-11(2)-1.
The Murphys Boxing man will now set his sights on a world title fight in the new year, and champion Ryosuke Iwasa [24(15)-2(2)] will soon be ordered to face Doheny in a mandatory defence.
The Japanese southpaw won the belt in September with an upset win over countryman Yukinori Oguni.