Portlaoise man TJ Doheny made a triumphant homecoming on Friday evening as he was the subject of a parade in the town, before a civic reception at County Hall.
Doheny claimed the IBF Super Bantamweight world title in August with a brilliant victory over Ryosuke Iwasa in Tokyo, becoming only the second ever Irish or British boxer to win a world title fight in the country.
TJ began his boxing career in Portlaoise Boxing Club, going on to win a number of national titles, but missed out on a place at the 2008 Olympics to John Joe Nevin. He opted to emigrate after that, heading to Australia, where he now lives with his partner Becca and son Theo.
He trains out of Boston, and so is afforded the chance to get home on too rare an occasion, but few trips home will have been as memorable as this. Travelling in the back of a convertible car, TJ was met by hundreds of well-wishers and supporters, who followed the cavalcade to the civic plaza, where he was given a civic reception by Laois County Council.
TJ has yet to release plans for his first title defence, which could potentially take place before the end of the year, as he is currently on a break after his well-earned world title.