|James Tennyson [28(23)-3(3)] will face Jovanni Straffon [23(16)-3(0)-1] on the undercard of Derek Chisora vs. Joseph Parker in Manchester tonight.|
The popular puncher was expected to trade leather with former three-weight world champion Ricky Burns in an eagerly anticipated clash on the card.
However, that potentially high-profile fight fell through and it’s tough but relatively unknown Mexican opposition for ‘the Irish GGG’ on the PPV card.
Mexico’s Straffon has notched 23 wins since turning professional in December 2010, with 16 of those wins coming inside the distance for the 27-year-old southpaw from Torreon. ‘Impacto’ has lost just three times in 27 fights and has never been stopped.
The hard-hitting Belfast man further enhanced his reputation as one of the most exciting contenders in the red hot 135lbs division by taking out Canada’s Josh O’Reilly in one round last time out on the Saunders vs. Murray undercard in December.
That win, Tennyson’s sixth straight stoppage win since moving up to lightweight, came in a WBA world title eliminator but Tennyson still seems a win or two away from the recognized world titles at the weight.
The not-so-recognized IBO world title will be on the line on a card that plays host to Katie Taylor versus Natasha Jonas, a fact that excites the Belfast fighter.
“Winning the IBO World Title will be a dream come true for me,” said Tennyson. “I have worked my whole life for this moment. This is my big opportunity to complete my collection of belts. I’ve won British, Commonwealth, European and two WBA Titles. All that’s missing is a World Title.
“The other guys holding belts at Lightweight haven’t been putting their belts on the line against each other. Winning the IBO will hopefully dangle a carrot in front of the other World Champions and entice them into a big unification fight. I’m expecting a tough fight, Mexican’s are well known for their toughness. I’ll have to bring my A game.”
“I’ve been working hard for many years to get a fight like this,” said Straffon. “I will not waste it. I will go up in the ring thinking about my two little daughters and how I need to win this for them. Maybe if I win, Eddie Hearn will want to work with me and my team in the future.”
Katie Taylor also appears on the card in a chief support bout with Natasha Jonas.
Viewers in Ireland and the UK can watch the card on SKY Sport Box Office while viewers in America and around the world can watch on streaming service DAZN.
Sky Sports Box Office will be showing the full card on Saturday night.
Coverage begins on the channel at 6pm Irish time and the event costs £19.95 to purchase.
DAZN subcribers can view with out any extra charge.
Tennyson versus Straffon opens the show with Tenny expected to ring walk in and around 6:15pm
Running order in reverse below:
Main event: Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker
Co main: Katie Taylor vs Natasha Jonas – for Taylor’s undisputed lightweight titles
Dmitry Bivol vs Craig Richards
Chris Eubank Jr vs Marcus Morrison
James Tennyson vs Jovanni Straffon
Scott Fitzgerald vs TBA
Campbell Hatton vs TBA