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Former champion TJ Doheny suffers shock upset in Dubai

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Doheny was ranked #6 by BoxRec, his opponent #111

Demetrius Andrade v Artur Akavov Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

In an early contender for Upset of the Year, former IBF super bantamweight champion and BoxRec #6 at 122 pounds TJ Doheny saw a tune-up fight with Ionut Baluta go horribly wrong this morning in Dubai, losing a wide eight-round division to the unheralded Romanian.

You can watch the full fight here, at least until Top Rank’s or ESPN’s lawyers find it.

Doheny (22-2, 16 KO), who put up a terrific fight against Daniel Roman in his sole defeat last year and has been vocal about his desire to challenge unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev, simply didn’t do enough, allowing Baluta (13-2, 2 KO) to rack up an insurmountable lead through sheer activity. The 26-year-old “Il Capo” would ultimately win at least five rounds on all three scorecards for a deserved decision win.

It’s unquestionably a crushing loss for Doheny, scrapping what was likely an imminent return to title contention, but at least “The Power” is keeping his chin up.