TJ Doheny steps up his quest to become a world champion once again as he takes on Ionut Baluta in Dubai on Friday night.

The former world super bantamweight champion will be looking to put in a convincing performance as he bids to set up a world title fight later this year.

Fighting on the stacked card at Caesars Palace Bluewaters, Dubai Doheny should prove too strong for Baluta and looks set to chase reigning WBA and IBF champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev. 

"Akhmadaliev is the current unified world champion so yes, he is my number one target right now," said Doheny. 

"I only narrowly missed out in my attempt to unify the division so it remains my ultimate goal," added The Power, who lost a highly entertaining encounter against Daniel Roman last April in the IBF/WBA unification encounter.

"Akhmadaliev and I fight under the same umbrella so that fight can be made easily. It would be a really fan-friendly fight – an absolute war.

"Two power-punching southpaws having an absolute shoot-out for the unified championship of the world. It’s a mouth-watering match-up. 

"The ideal scenario would be for me to regain my status as a world champion and then avenge the only loss of my career to date, which came against Roman.

"With that in mind, I’ll stay at super-bantamweight for now because I’m very well positioned with all the governing bodies so another world title shot is just around the corner. 

"There are lots of great fighters out there who I’d love to share a ring but the man on my mind right now is the unified champion Akhmadaliev." 

Doheny's bout with Baluta is part of an eagerly anticipated fight night in Dubai, where undefeated Australian Mateo Tapia (11-0, 6 KOs) faces a stern test in Dublin’s Steve Collins Jr (14-3-1, 4 KOs).