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Michael Conlan faces former titleholder TJ Doheny on August 6

Conlan (left) goes to the body of Nikitin. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

Michael Conlan will face former world junior featherweight titleholder TJ Doheny on August 6, Top Rank and Conlan Boxing announced Wednesday.

The 10-round bout will take place at Falls Park in Conlan’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland as part of the annual Feile an Phobail festival and will stream live on ESPN+ (3 p.m. ET/ 12 p.m. PT).

August 6 will be a homecoming for Conlan (15-0, 8 knockouts), who has not fought in Belfast since stopping Diego Ruiz of Argentina two years ago before a crowd of almost 10,000. Doheny will be a significant step-up in opposition for Conlan, who has fought modest opposition since the Ruiz fight.

“This is a big test for Mick, as Doheny is a formidable foe who won’t be intimidated fighting in front of the partisan Belfast crowd,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He wanted a Belfast fight, and I am thrilled that his loyal fans will get to see him in person once again.”

In his last bout on April 30, Conlan won a hard-fought majority decision over Ionut Baluta of Romania. Conlan is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 122 pounds and believes a convincing win over Doheny would put him in a position to challenge for the world title, which is currently held by unbeaten Stephen Fulton. 

“I’m excited to be back fighting in my city,” said Conlan, who won the bronze medal at 2012 Olympic Games and was on the receiving end of a controversial loss at the 2016 Olympic Games. “It was special in 2019, but I believe this year it will be even better as we haven’t had live events due to the pandemic. On Aug. 6, we will show Belfast is back!”


“It will be an honor to share the ring with TJ. I have a lot of respect for him and his achievements. I believe it’s my toughest fight to date, and with that, I will make my biggest statement in my quest to become a world champion.”

Doheny (22-2, 16 KOs), who grew up in Portlaois, Ireland, won the IBF title by defeating Ryosuke Iwasa by unanimous decision in August 2016. He would make a successful defense of the IBF title before losing a close, hard-fought unanimous decision to then-WBA titleholder Daniel Roman in April 2019. 

In his last bout on March 6 of last year, Doheny lost by unanimous decision to Baluta. Despite having lost two of his last three bouts, the 34-year-old Doheny is confident he can defeat Conlan.

“This will be my first time fighting on Irish soil, and I can’t think of a better homecoming,” said Doheny. “It doesn’t get much bigger than this for an all-Irish clash, and the fans are in for a real treat. This is the kind of fight that I have been craving since my close majority decision loss to Daniel Roman. Top opposition is what motivates me and helps me raise my game. I cannot wait for this.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing