Super bantamweight TJ ‘The Power’ Doheny 22-1 (16) returns to action against the dangerous Ionut Baluta 12-2 (2) at Caesars Palace in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this Friday night.
The 33-year-old southpaw bounced back from his majority decision loss to Danny Roman in a world title unification bout last April with a fifth-round stoppage of veteran Jesus Martinez in October.
The action-packed Doheny versus Roman bout was widely considered one of the fights on the year.
The Australian-based Irishman, who defeated Ryosuke Iwasa to claim the IBF super bantamweight champion in August 2018, is determined to put himself back in world title contention this year.
“I’ve been to Dubai several times now and it’s one of my favourite cities to visit,” Doheny said. “I’ve fought in so many popular cities all over the world and I’m really excited to be adding Dubai to my resumé.
“It fills me with pride to be representing my hometown on such a large global scale. I get a huge amount of support from back there which means a lot to me. After all, Portlaoise Boxing Club is where I’ve honed the skills that allowed me to travel the world and have such a fantastic career.
“I had a good win last time out and we were mainly focusing on getting back to winning ways before we start our push for another world title.
“Baluta is certainly a stronger opponent than my last one. He’s quite tall and has some good boxing skills so he will provide a pretty good test for me to figure out.
“I’ve done my camp in Australia for this fight and everything’s gone really well. I have no complaints.”
Joining Doheny on a big bill is an intriguing clash between unbeaten Australian youngster Mateo Tapia and the resurgent Steve Collins Jr, with world-ranked Lasisi Aliu Bamidele, Kazakh prospect Nurtas Azhbenov, Faizan Anwar and Sultan Al-Nuaimi in action.
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