Anthony Cocks writes about the fighters and fights in the land down under
TJ DOHENY COMES FACE-TO-FACE WITH DANIEL ROMAN AHEAD OF 122LB UNIFICATION CLASH
IBF super bantamweight champion TJ ‘The Power’ Doheny 21-0 (15) met his WBA counterpart Daniel ‘The Baby-Faced Assassin’ Roman 26-2-1 (10) at Beauty and Essex in Hollywood, California on Monday afternoon ahead of their 122-pound unification bout at The Forum in Los Angeles on April 26.
“This is the kind of fight I want to be involved in. It’s a dream of mine – as soon as I got my world title that’s all I’ve been pushing for is a unification,” said the 32-year-old Australian-based Irishman.
“I want to thank Daniel Roman for taking the fight and wanting to unify the division. In my opinion this is probably the best two 122 fighters in the world going off right now.
“There’s a lot of respect between myself and Danny… a fight of this magnitude does not need that kind of stuff. Come April 26 when that first bell goes, the respect will be gone out the window, and the fans can expect fireworks.”
Southpaw Doheny, who has fought a third of his professional bouts on the road, will again be the away fighter against the 28-year-old Los Angeles native.
“I’m excited to be back home and excited that TJ’s here. This is a fight you want to see. The best against the best, champion against champion,” said Roman.
“I’ve been asking for this fight since I won the world title, and finally it’s here. It’s going to be a great card, but I feel we’re going to steal the show that night.”
Doheny won the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame Fighter of the Year award for 2018 after his 12-round world title winning effort against Ryosuke Iwassa at the famed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan six months ago.
“The ANBHOF committee awarded TJ Doheny the Fighter of the Year for 2018 in recognition of his achievement in obtaining the IBF world super bantamweight title against a very strong list of finalists including Andrew Moloney, Jai Opetaia, Liam Paro, Tim Tszyu and Reagan Dessaix,” said ANBHOF secretary Damian Membrey.
The Doheny versus Roman fight will be part of a world title doubleheader also featuring the rematch between WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai 47-4-1 (41) and Juan Francisco Estrada 38-3 (26).
ANDREW MOLONEY PUTTING FINISHING TOUCHES ON PREPARATION FOR MIGUEL GONZALEZ WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR
World-rated super flyweight Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 18-0 (11) insists he won’t be intimidated by the hostile environment he will face when he takes on WBA number two Miguel Gonzalez 29-1 (6) in a world title eliminator at the Gran Arena Monticello in San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile on March 22.
“Obviously you will always benefit from a fight in your own backyard but I’m confident that I can beat him convincingly enough that it’s not going to be a problem,” said WBA number three Moloney to Boxing-Social.com.
“I’m not too fussed about travelling either, as an amateur I fought all over the world; it’s not going to be an issue. It’s also going to be a great experience getting used to travelling as a professional and fighting in someone else’s back yard because it’s something I’m probably going to have to do when I get the chance to fight for a world title.
“I’ve watched Gonzalez’s last fight which was at the same arena that we are going to fighting at. I’ve got a bit of a feel for what it’s going to be like, but I have no idea what the crowd is going to be like or what the build-up will be like over there.
“None of that is going to bother me anyway; I’m just exited to fighting in a world title eliminator and pushing myself into a mandatory position.”
Victory will put the 28-year-old Australian in the box seat to face WBA 115-pound champion Khalid Yafai 25-0 (15) later this year.
“The WBA have ordered that (Kal) Yafai fight his mandatory, who is Norbelto Jimenez from the Dominican Republic. They should be fighting very soon I believe, I haven’t seen any announcement but I believe they will be fighting very soon,” Moloney.
“Then myself and Miguel Gonzalez are sitting at number two and number three. The WBA have ordered an eliminator between myself and Gonzalez to see who moves into the mandatory position.
“Depending on who wins between Yafai and Jimenez (they) should end up fighting the winner between me and Gonzalez for the (WBA) belt.”
KANE WATTS CLAIMS WBA OCEANIA TITLE AGAIN JAYDEN ‘PLUGGER’ JOSEPH
Mornington Peninsula cruiserweight ‘Sugar’ Kane Watts 21-3 (13) claimed the vacant WBA Oceania title with a 10-round decision win over tough Tasmanian Jayden ‘Plugger’ Joseph 7-2-1 (1) at the Melbourne Pavilion in Kensington last Friday night.
Former Australian champion Joseph, who was having his first fight back since losing his national crown to Ben Kelleher in Brisbane last July, praised his opponent and promised to improve from the experience.
“I just wanna say that I gave it my all but I didn’t win,” said the 25-year-old Joseph. “But I learnt more in the learning curve. It was a very, very close fight.
“A big congratulations to ‘Sugar’ Kane Watts, what a great fight. Well done champion was a pleasure to fight you mate. I will be back in the ring very soon; back better than ever. I am only young and still have a lot to learn.”
BROCK JARVIS CLAIM IBF YOUTH 122LB TITLE WITH EARLY STOPPAGE OF PHILIP LUIS CUERDO
Jeff Fenech protégé Brock Jarvis 16-0 (15) needed just 2:59 to stop Filipino southpaw Philip Luis Cuerdo 11-6-1 (4) to claim the vacant IBF Youth super bantamweight title at Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh, New South Wales on Friday night.
The 21-year-old Jarvis dropped Cuerdo with a body shot with one second remaining the opening frame, but not before the visitor got some licks in himself.
"I’ve watched him before and he’s sharp – he’s good," Jarvis told Sporting News. "He landed a few good shots in the first round but I felt like I was the bigger puncher.
"I caught him to the body there and it felt good. Like my trainer says, when I land on these guys, I stop them."
BILAL AKKAWY RETURN ON SATURDAY IN MEXICO
Big-hitting Sydney super middleweight Bilal Akkawy 19-0-1 (15) returns to action this Saturday night against an opponent to be named at the Centro de Convenciones, Tamazula de Gordiano in Mexico.
The WBA number four and IBF number nine ranked 168-pounder is a regular sparring partner of world middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Akkawy scored a seventh round knockout of Victor Fonseca in his last fight on the undercard of Alvarez versus Rocky Fielding at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden in December.