Ireland’s TJ Doheny earned himself a crack at the IBF super-bantamweight title with a win in Bangkok on Wednesday.
The undefeated Portlaoise puncher, who is promoted by Ken Casey’s Murphys Boxing outfit, was originally supposed to face former IBF featherweight titlist Evgeny Gradovich in a final eliminator in Ekaterinberg, Russia on December 15th, but Gradovich was forced to withdraw from the match-up through injury in November. Luckily, a fight between Doheny, then ranked third in the IBF rankings, and Thailand’s Mike Tawatchai, who sat at number seven, was subsequently pieced together.
Tawatchai(44-11-1), born Pipat Chaiporn, came into the bout on the back of six wins in his previous seven outings, with his only defeat during that stretch coming against former WBO bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda. All of those wins came inside the distance.
The Thai was, however, unable to continue his run of good form, as Doheny improved to 18-0(13) with a split decision victory. The scores were 117-111 and 116-112 in favour of Doheny, and 115-113 in favour of Tawatchai(via Irish-Boxing.com).
— Sean Gibbons (@KnuckleheadSean) December 20, 2017
It was the first time that the New South Wales-based Doheny had been extended the distance since May of 2015. He had scored six consecutive stoppage wins coming into the fight.
The 31-year-old Doheny, who holds an amateur win over Belfast’s two-weight world titlist Carl Frampton, is now the mandatory challenger for IBF champ Ryosuke Iwasa of Japan. Iwasa, 24-2 with 16 stoppage wins to his name, scooped the title with a sixth-round TKO win over countryman Yukinori Oguni in September. The 27-year-old has won five in a row since moving up in weight after a TKO defeat to English bantamweight Lee Haskins in June of 2015. His only other defeat came via decision to talented southpaw Shinsuke Yamanaka all the way back in 2011. Both Yamanaka and Haskins went on to claim world titles after their wins over Iwasa.
— Jason Quigley (@jay_quigley) December 20, 2017
— Ken Casey (@KenDKM) December 20, 2017
— Niall Kennedy Boxer (@niallbaskennedy) December 20, 2017
— Colm Parkinson (@Woolberto) December 20, 2017
@TjDoheny get in there pal 👏🏼👏🏼 delighted for you World title next 👊🏼
— Patrick Hyland (@Pajpunisher) December 20, 2017
Brilliant well done @TjDoheny
— Stephen Ormond (@steormond) December 20, 2017