West Belfast boxing hero Michael Conlan will meet fellow Irishman and former world champion TJ Doheny in a 10-round attraction at Falls Park in Belfast, as part of the Féile an Phobail festival, on August 6.
“This is a big test for Mick, as Doheny is a formidable foe who won’t be intimidated fighting in front of the partisan Belfast crowd,” said Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum. “He wanted a Belfast fight, and I am thrilled that his loyal fans will get to see him in person once again.”
Jamie Conlan, CEO of Conlan Boxing, added: “Michael and I are honoured and excited to bring live boxing back to Belfast. Everyone has been working hard behind the scenes to make this event possible during these crazy times and now there is light at the end of the tunnel. Both Michael and TJ have Irish pride on the line, but they see each other as the perfect dance partner to reach the world title level. It has all the ingredients for a fantastic fight.”
World-rated super-bantamweight Conlan (15-0, 8 KOs) became an Irish folk hero through an amateur career that saw him win a 2015 World Championships gold medal and Olympic bronze at the London 2012 Games. He last fought in April, securing a 12-round majority decision over Romanian dangerman Ionut Baluta.
Conlan said: “I’m excited to be back fighting in my city. It was special in 2019, but I believe this year it will be even better as we haven’t had live events due to the pandemic. On August 6, we will show Belfast is back!
“It will be an honour to share the ring with TJ. I have a lot of respect for him and his achievements. I believe it’s my toughest fight to date and, with that, I will make my biggest statement in my quest to become a world champion.”
Doheny (22-2, 16 KOs), from Portlaoise, Ireland, upset Ryosuke Iwasa by unanimous decision in August 2018 to win the IBF 122lbs title. He made one defence before narrowly losing a unification clash with then WBA title holder Daniel Roman. Doheny was later upset on the cards by Baluta, who also KOed former Irish amateur star Davey Oliver Joyce before facing Conlan.
Former champ Doheny said: “This will be my first time fighting on Irish soil, and I can’t think of a better homecoming. It doesn’t get much bigger than this for an all-Irish clash, and the fans are in for a real treat. This is the kind of fight that I have been craving since my close majority decision loss to Daniel Roman. Top opposition is what motivates me and helps me raise my game. I cannot wait for this.”