Hearn and Dunlop plot World title fight for James Tennyson

Manager Mark Dunlop intends to chase a world title fight for James Tennyson [20(16)-2(2)] following another knockout win for the Belfast super featherweight.

The Poleglass 24 year old won the WBA International belt in June with a win over Ryan Doyle and eventually found himself #5 in the rankings. Now, events over the last few days look likely to push Tennyson further up the ladder and within touching distance of a world title.

Firstly on Friday, champion Jezreel Corrales missed weight ahead of his scheduled defence with Alberto Machado and was stripped of his title. Then, on Saturday evening, Tennyson knocked out Darren Traynor in the third round to defend his rankings belt and likely improve his position with the WBA. Finally, late Saturday night, #4 Machado won the vacant title by knocking out the stripped Corrales.

The WBA will publish updated rankings on Friday, and Dunlop is hoping to see his charge near the very top of the ladder.

Following the exciting victory over Traynor, which played out on the Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov undercard, Dunlop told Irish-Boxing.com that “he was impressive tonight. I know he was careless in the second round, the kid’s on TV and he wanted to impress, but he done well. Let’s be honest he was in against a good fighter and he did well and produced a great stoppage win.”

“James’s win tonight, which was very impressive, could see him go to third, even second in the rankings, who knows?”

“If that is the case he should be in line for an eliminator, he may even get the call for a World title shot.”

While it’s undeniable that Tennyson is, at present, a domestic level fighter, but the Belfast manager is keen to take advantage of the WBA situation.

Dunlop has promised to push the relevant parties and even revealed that he may travel to Colombia next week for the annual WBA Convention in Medellin.

“We would dive at it,” he said of an unlikely world title shot.

“Why not? We have told Eddie we want the World title fight. We might go over to the World Convention and try and make it happen, but it’s all hearsay until we know the lie of the land exactly.”

Following up, Matchroom boss Hearn noted how “it’s funny, because he should now be fighting for British and Commonwealth titles, which Martin Ward may vacate soon – but he’s also #5 in the world, which he shouldn’t be, really, but he is.”

“He should be creeping in the top 15, but he’s ended up there.”

“He probably won’t get a world title shot [next], but he may get a final eliminator.”

“Someone’s going to look at him in the rankings and say ‘oh, he’s number #4 or #5, what does he look like? Oh, he’s exciting, he looks beatable, we’ll have him.'”

“In this crazy world you may end up seeing James Tennyson fight for a world title in early 2018.”

“You can’t rule him out in those fights, because he can punch, he’s vulnerable, sometimes he gets hurt, but he can punch and he can punch very hard.”

“I love him, I think he’s so exciting.”


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie