James Tennyson is coolness personified. The 22 year old Belfast fighter goes into the biggest fight of his career on Saturday night, but on Friday at the weigh in he looked as cool as ice and as relaxed as a man sipping cocktails in the Bahamas.
Just three years ago to the day on Friday at the tender age of 19, Tennyson was weighing in for his ultimately successful tilt for the Irish Super Featherweight against Micky Coveney in Belfast.
On Saturday night, three years exactly from the night he became the youngest champion of Ireland, he aims to take the British Featherweight crown against Ryan Walsh and become one of the youngest ever holders of that strap.
Fate is not something that that a fighter can rely on when he steps through the ropes but one would be forgiven for speculating that the good omens may rest in the Irishman’s corner come Saturday.
Tennyson is a young man with the world at his feet, and as he chatted and joked with World Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury at Friday’s weigh in, you got the sense that he is comfortable in that kind of company.
He goes into the bout as the bookies favourite but he knows that the fight won’t be won in the betting shops and has prepared better than ever before.
Speaking to Irish-boxing.com he said “This is a step up for me but I have had a real good camp and I have been in with some great sparring partners. The preparation has been very intense and I have done rounds with the likes of Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington, Maxi Hughes and Gary Sykes so it has been top class.”
Tennyson infamously put the Frampton Vs Quigg super fight in doubt recently when he cut his fellow Belfast man’s eye in sparring and when asked about sharing the ring with that calibre of training partner the assuredness of his response told its own story.
“I have been in with some top class lads but I never felt out of my comfort zone with and I got great feed-back from the likes of Carl and his whole team who said they wished they had got me into his camp sooner so that was great for my confidence. “
The Mark Dunlop managed boxer recently signed up with Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions and with a live televised fight on Boxnation for a major title on Saturday, he knows that a victory could pave the way for a return of the TV cameras and big time boxing to Belfast.
This though does not faze him and there is a glint in his eye as he visualises bill-topping shows in his hometown in front of the cameras and under the bright lights.
“It’s a great opportunity to fight on Boxnation and a win for myself and Jamie (Conlan) tomorrow could open up a lot of doors and bring the TV cameras and big shows to Belfast.”
Tennyson is a young man with a heavy weight on his shoulders but the Belfast boxer doesn’t let it show. Cool, calm and collected – he has a look of determination in his eyes. Will fate bring him another title on Saturday? We wouldn’t bet against it.