Michael Conlan Secures Interim WBA Belt with Points. Michael Conlan claimed he was “extremely thrilled” with his points victory over TJ Doheny at Belfast’s Falls Park.
The fight lasted 12 rounds, with Conlan winning by unanimous decision of the judges, extending his unblemished pro record to 16-0.
After the fight, the Belfast fighter stated that he would like to face the winner of Stephen Fulton vs. Brandon Figueroa.
The duo will compete for the WBO world super-bantamweight title in September.
“My sights are still on that 122lb world title fight,” Conlan told BBC Sport Northern Ireland, adding that “this is a 126lbs [victory].” I can absolutely switch between the two, but my sights are set on that 122lb bout if the WBO still offers it.
“If it’s there before the end of the year, I’ll grab it.”
However, he may also seek a mandatory chance at the outright WBA featherweight championship, which British fighter Leigh Wood recently won.
“There are a lot of chances in both divisions, and I’m glad to have them now,” Conlan continued.
It was the 29-year-second old’s appearance at Feile a Phobail in his hometown of west Belfast.
The bout was as exciting as the build-up.
A generally respectful build-up to the fight went sour in fight week when Conlan and Doheny fought over their interpretations of the weight class for the fight.
Conlan claimed that his opponent agreed to fight at a 124lb catchweight, while Doheny stated that the match was always supposed to be at super-bantamweight (122lb).
Doheny’s most recent fight came in March 2020, when he was defeated on points by Romanian Ionut Balut, who was defeated by Conlan in their April intercontinental super-bantamweight title battle.
Conlan, who is noted for altering stances, stayed in southpaw for the duration of the fight, fighting toe-to-toe with regular southpaw Doheny, who was often caught by Conlan’s check-hooks.
Much of the fight was contested in close quarters, with the referee not allowing much opportunity for either fighter to clinch or hold, and even yelling at both in the third round for becoming tangled.
Conlan nearly got a stoppage in the fifth round when he fired a sequence of blows in a row, prompting Doheny to take a count.
However, the 34-year-old hung in there and even came back in the dying seconds of the round to hurl a few powerful hits of his own, giving Conlan a 10-8 round.
The finest round for the Portlaoise boxer was debatably the 11th, when he caught the home fighter with some crisp punches and, for a little moment, it appeared like the Olympic bronze medallist was in trouble.
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