By Ryan Burton
Tomorrow morning as rush hour traffic begins on the east coast of the United States, Ryosuke Iwasa (25-2) will make the second defense of his IBF super bantamweight title when he faces #1 contender TJ "The Power" Doheny (19-0) at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The bout will be aired stateside on the ESPN+ streaming service beginning at 6:45 a.m. eastern time.
Doheny has knocked out seven of his past eight opponents and is very confident facing the champion on his home soil. The 31-year-old U.S. based Irishman was last in the ring in March when blew out Mike Oliver in two rounds in Boston where he currently resides.
BoxingScene.com/NoSparring was on hand in Tokyo for the fight week press conference where Doheny met with the Japanese press. The media brought up Iwasa's height and reach advantage several times but Doheny quickly dismissed it and said that he was even surprised that the difference in height wasn't very noticeable.
"He seems to be a humble kid. He seems to be relaxed. I expected him to be taller to be honest but we are pretty much the same height. What I am lacking in reach I will make up in power. I will assure you that," Doheny stated.
Doheny will attempt to make history when he steps in the ring against Iwasa. If he emerges victorious he will become only the second fighter born in Ireland to win a world title in Japan. Wayne McCullough is the only man to accomplish the feat when in 1995 when he defeated Yasuei Yakushiji by split decision to capture the WBC bantamweight title.
He said that he is fully prepared for anything that Iwasa will bring to the ring and that his opponent's hometown fans will be in for a shock when they see the way the fight unfolds.
"It is a boxing match and we have a game plan for anything that he brings. We have studied him well and that will be very evident on fight night. You will see how it unveils itself," Doheny explained.
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