With a lack of major international pedigree or an Irish boxing legend in Barry McGuigan talking him up, 25-year-old Tennyson is one of the more under-the-radar Irish world title challengers but this could all change soon.
The Belfast super featherweight challenges IBF champion Tevin Farmer at the TD Garden in Boston tonight, live on Sky Sports and DAZN, and a win over the Philly southpaw slickster could put Tennyson in line for crossover stardom.
Tennyson’s manager, Mark Dunlop, believes a win for the Poleglass puncher could trigger a sequence of events that could lead to an all-Belfast world title fight at Windsor Park Football Stadium with Tiger’s Bay two-weight champ Carl Frampton [26(15)-1(0)].
Dunlop told the Belfast Telegraph that “Carl has always said that he would love to be a three-weight world champion so just imagine if James wins and he faces Carl at Windsor Park next summer – it would be huge.”
Frampton headlined at the football stadium in August and, with this dream fulfilled, revealed that he wouldn’t mind returning next Summer. Promoter Frank Warren had suggested a trilogy clash with WBA featherweight champ Leo Santa Cruz but a more local affair with Tennyson could appeal.
‘The Jackal’ has indeed stated his desire to become a three-weight champ and the idea of moving up temporarily in the summer of 2016 was explored before the Andreas Guttierez ordeal.
Frampton first fights IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington in Manchester on December 22nd and, should he win, he would move on to chasing unifications with Santa Cruz and WBO titlist Óscar Valdez.
Indeed, a loss to Warrington would perhaps be the result which would most likely prompt a Tennyson fight next year.
Additionally, if a Frampton fight were to happen, Tennyson would have to first make a mandatory defence against the winner of December’s final eliminator between Dublin’s Jono Carroll and Frenchman Guillaume Frenois.
Everything here, of course, is hypothetical, and Tennyson has a massive test in Farmer – a fight in which he is a 3/1 underdog.
However, the prospect of a future Frampton fight is a nice illustration of how far ‘The Assassin’ has come and what may lie ahead.
Frampton will be ringside tonight, with his stablemate Tommy Coyle fighting local slugger Ryan Kielczweski. The 31-year-old will take in plenty of Irish action too, with Sean McComb, Niall Kennedy, and unified lightweight champ Katie Taylor on the card along with potential future rival Tennyson.