TJ Doheny's first world title defense may have been announced with less than two weeks' notice, but still shined at Madison Square Garden.
In the opening bout of the main card of the January 18 DAZN boxing show at Madison Square Garden, Doheny dominated Japanese fighter Ryohei Takahashi late in the 11th round to retain his IBF super bantamweight title.
Doheny easily dominated Takahashi from the start of the contest, creating a cut on his opponent early in the second round. Doheny also suffered a cut in that round, but still had control of the fight. The Irish champion landed a right hand in the third round to knock Takahashi down.
As the fight wore on, Doheny would continue dominating, but failed to take out a very tough Takahashi in his first world title fight. In the 11th round, Doheny would land a series of punches that would stun Takahashi and the referee surprisingly stopped the contest when there were no hard punches being launched at the time.
After the fight, Doheny joked about receiving another cut in a big fight and then proceeded to issue a challenge to WBA champion Daniel Roman, who also fights on DAZN. Roman entered the ring and the two champions exchanged pleasantries, wanting to unify the two super bantamweight titles. The fight was the first in Doheny's contract with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN. Doheny first won the IBF title in August when he traveled to Japan and scored a narrow unanimous decision win over former champion Ryosuke Iwasa.