Daniel Roman faces TJ Doheny this Friday night on DAZN.
This Friday in the co-feature of a packed card on DAZN headlined by a Srisaket Sor Rungvisai-Juan Francisco Estrada rematch, 122-pound titleholders Daniel Roman and TJ Doheny will unify the WBA and IBF belts.
Roman (26-2-1, 10 KO) sat down with his co-promoters at Thompson Boxing to preview the fight with Doheny (21-0, 15 KO), and give his feelings on fight at home in LA for the first time years and what it means to get in the ring at the Forum in Inglewood, home to so many great fights over the years.
Unification fights are tough to finalize for a variety of reasons. Will a victory make you the best in the division, not just in your eyes, but in the viewpoints of the boxing community at large?
“I’ll leave that to the boxing public to figure out. I do know the best talents in the division are the champs and I’ve been very clear in my public requests to fight all of them. I don’t want to be the one to say that I’m the best. It’s just not in my nature. That stuff sorts itself out on its own. Doheny is a great champion so I have to get through him first before any talk of best in the division can happen. This is the fight that I’ve always wanted and people know that. The best fighting the best. That’s what people want to see.”
What about your boxing journey sticks out the most for you? Is it the early years when you were just trying to book a four rounder, your championship arrival, subsequent title defenses (now three successful and counting), or any other moments that make you realize what you’ve accomplished?
“There are a couple of moments. My first loss in 2011 was incredibly tough to handle. I was super young and just starting out. I had to quickly forget about it and just move on. It was easier said than done. Another time that is clear as day was my title eliminator with Adam Lopez in Atlantic City. Everyone favored him going in and nobody really gave me a chance except my team and my promoter. The fight was stopped in the ninth round because I basically used him as a punching bag. The other big moment was traveling to Japan and becoming a world champion. At that point, I had accomplished my dream and it’s a moment in time that will always be special for me.”
You’re fighting in the Los Angeles area for the first time since 2016. Prior to that, you were a staple at local boxing shows. How fulfilling is it to fight in your hometown with another title on the line?
“We’ve been traveling for a long time now. First the Atlantic City title eliminator and then we followed it up with two visits to Japan. After that it was Dallas and then Chicago. Since winning the world title in 2017, all my friends and family ask is when I’m going to be back in L.A. I’m going to have a bunch of fans in attendance. I’ll have a good amount of support in my corner. So yeah, I’m pretty pumped about fighting in my backyard.”
Break down your opponent TJ Doheny.
“He’s a smart fighter. I saw him fight live so I know what he’s about. He knows how to use the ring. I have to watch out for his left hand. He knows how to move around so I might have to bring the fight to him, which is no problem for me. We have a plan in place and know how to adjust to different scenarios. We are well prepared like always.”
In its heyday, the Forum hosted many marquee fights and it recently has undergone a resurgence. What are your thoughts on potentially adding another storied chapter to this classic boxing venue?
“I grew up on those Forum fights so I’m familiar with the history. I actually always thought about one day fighting at the Forum, but boxing went away from the venue for awhile so I never thought I’d get the chance. It’s pretty crazy that I get to fight there and it’s even better since it’s a unification bout. I’m going to try to steal the show. Make it the fight of the night.”