With his wounds healed and armed with a full training camp, TJ Doheny is set to embark on a run towards a second title reign.
The former junior featherweight titlist will return to the ring this weekend, facing Colombia’s Jesus Martinez on the undercard of a DAZN-streamed show this Saturday at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Ill.
All eyes will be on the evening’s main event, as former World cruiserweight champion and reigning 2018 Fighter of the Year Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12KOs) makes his heavyweight debut as he faces unbeaten prospect and former kickboxing superstar Tyrone Spong.
For Doheny (21-1, 15KOs)—an Irish southpaw based out of Australia—the scheduled eight-round contest will mark his first ring appearance since coming up just short in his Fight of the Year-level war with Daniel Roman this past April in Inglewood, Calif. Doheny was floored twice in the 122-pound title unification clash but rose both times to provide all sorts of hell of California’s Roman (27-2-1, 10KOs) only to come up on the wrong end of a majority decision. The narrow defeat cost him the title he claimed on the road in Japan last August, having made one successful defense.
Well-earned rest and relaxation followed the Roman bout before plotting his next move. In Martinez (26-9, 13KOs)—a fellow southpaw who is now based in South Florida—he will get a game opponent who, on paper, is a class below the level of opposition he will need to beat in order to put another title around his waist.
For now, it’s the chance to put in rounds in building towards what he hopes will be a spectacular 2020 campaign.
“It’s the start of the build back towards another world title,” Mike Altamtura, Doheny’s manager told BoxingScene.com. “He’s been in camp for eight weeks and is excited to get back into the mix.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox