By Anthony Cocks
IBF super bantamweight champion TJ Doheny 21-0 (15) is looking to steal the show when he faces WBA counterpart Daniel Roman 26-2-1 (10) at The Forum in Inglewood, California on Friday night.
The fight will feature as the main support bout to the highly-anticipated rematch between WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai 47-4-1 (41) and former unified flyweight chamion Juan Francisco Estrada 38-3 (26).
"This is a fight you want to see. The best against the best, champion against champion. I've been asking for this fight since I won the world title and finally it's here," said Doheny, who will be competing in his second title defence after snatching the IBF crown from Japan's Ryosuka Iwasa on the road last August.
"There's a lot of respect between myself and Danny... when that first bell goes, the respect will be gone out the window and the fans can expect fireworks."
Roman, who has strung together 18 straight wins since dropping a 2013 decision to American Juan Reyes, repeated his desire to face the best in the 122-pound weight class.
"This is the fight I wanted," said Roman, 28. "It's a dream come true. I was looking to unify the first fight after winning the belt. I want the best in the division. For me that's the champions.
"Finally, that's happening and it's in my backyard in Inglewood where I grew up, so I'm so excited. That has given me even more motivation to start my quest to hold all the belts."
Meanwhile, Doheny’s chief sparring partner Regan Buckley has warned Roman not to underestimate the Sydney-based Irishman.
“TJ is in unbelievable shape for this fight,” Buckley told Irish-Boxing.com. “His work ethic is really amazing and I reckon he’s more than ready for any type of fight. You can expect him to be strong, fit and super sharp on fight night.
“If Roman tries to walk him down and walk through his punches I’d predict a mid to late KO for Doheny and if he doesn’t I’d predict a points win for Doheny.”
Buckley, who was handpicked to spar Doheny as he fights in a similar style to Roman, says he now understands why the 32-year-old southpaw has earned the nickname ‘The Power’.
“My style mimics Roman’s in some aspects which is why I think they asked me to spar in the first place. When we were sparring they were happy and didn’t ask me to change anything,” said Buckley.
“There’s a bit of a weight difference so obviously he wasn’t going 100%, he’s a real genuine gentleman but there’s a reason they call him ‘The Power’ and now I know why.”