American fight fans will be treated to breakfast and boxing on Thursday, Aug. 16 when Ryosuke Iwasa makes the second defense of his IBF junior featherweight world championship against No. 1 contender TJ “The Power” Doheny at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Iwasa (25-2, 16 KOs), a 28-year-old native of Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan, is 19-1 when fighting at Korakuen Hall, the iconic venue located in the same complex as the world-famous Tokyo Dome.
Iwasa vs. Doheny will be streamed live in the United States beginning at 6:45 a.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
Iwasa, a 10-year-pro, is a southpaw who won the first eight bouts of his career before a 10th-round TKO loss to Shinsuke Yamanaka on March 5, 2011.
Yamanaka went on to win the WBC bantamweight world title in his next fight and would make 12 successful title defenses. Iwasa won 11 straight bouts following the Yamanaka defeat before suffering the only other blemish on his record, a sixth-round TKO loss to Lee Haskins for the interim IBF bantamweight title.
Iwasa moved up to the junior featherweight division after the Haskins fight, winning the world title in September of last year with a sixth-round TKO against Yukinori Oguni. In his last bout, on March 1, Iwasa defended his belt with a wide unanimous decision against Ernesto Saulong.
A Boston resident who was born in Ireland and spent much of his pro career based in Australia, Doheny (19-0, 14 KOs) has won seven of his past eight bouts via knockout. In his last bout, on a St. Patrick’s Day card in Boston, Doheny stopped veteran Mike Oliver in the second round.
Doheny is attempting to make history against Iwasa. With a victory, he would become only the second Irish-born pugilist to win a world title in Japan. Wayne McCullough accomplished that feat in 1995 when he dethroned Yasuei Yakushiji via split decision to win the WBC bantamweight title.
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