By Vladimir Lik
T J Doheny (21-0, 15 KOs) defeated Ryohei Takahashi (16-4-1, 6 KOs) by TKO in the eleventh round on the Demetrius Andrade-Artur Akavov undercard to retain the IBF super bantamweight world championship at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The official time of the stoppage was 2:18 of the eleventh round.
Making the first defense of the IBF super bantamweight title he won last August in Japan, Doheny mixed it up with Takahashi, another Japanese fighter, and brawled in close quarters from the beginning of the bout.
Midway through the second round a nasty gash opened on both men as they clashed heads. Doheny had blood gushing between his eyes while Takahashi had blood streaming from the bridge of his nose. Once referee Michael Ortega broke them they went right back at each other again fighting a proverbial phone booth type of fight.
“It’s not a TJ Doheny fight without a cut. That’s only a scratch compared to the one I picked up in my world title fight," Doheny said immediately following the bout. "Every time I come out with scratches and bruises but that’s because I give it all in this ring. But I always want to give the fans a show and that’s exactly what I tried to do tonight.”
The 28-year-old Doheny scored the bout’s lone knockdown in the third round when a left to the body opened Takahashi up for a straight right hand which knocked the Japanese fighter down. Doheny controlled much of the action being the busier fighter down the stretch closing in on trying to stop Takahashi but the 28-year-old Japanese fighter kept coming forward and eating clean punch after clean punch.
Doheny put the pressure on Takahashi again in the eigth round causing Takahashi to stumble backwards into the ropes. It was one of the only times the Japanese fighter retreated and didn’t try to answer back with a right hand of his own. Doheny landed a four-punch combination in what ended up being the final round prompting referee Ortega to call an end to the bout perhaps savings Takahashi from himself.