Inside trading – Tennyson sparring former Ward opponents ahead of Euro challenge

James Tennyson [21(17)-2(2)] hasn’t quite got an inside man in camp Martin J Ward [19(9)-0-2], but he has been getting the inside track on European super featherweight champion.

‘Tenny’ challenges for the Matchroom fighter’s continental strap Tony Bellew’s heavyweight grudge rematch showdown against David Haye and has been speaking to and sparring with two of the champ’s former opponents. 

The Belfast fighter’s MHD stablemate Ronnie ‘The Shark’ Clark caused Ward problems when they fought for the British title back in 2016 and Anthony Cacace still argues he defeated the now European belt holder in a British and Commonwealth title fight last year.

Both have been down sparring the fighter who is still only 24 in the run up to a May 5the clash that is being built as a world title eliminator.

Tennyson could take a massive step toward World title tilt with victory on London next month
Tennyson could take a massive step toward World title tilt with victory on London next month

Indeed the Scot and the Belfast fighter, who has a Commonwealth eliminator lined up, have passed on advice to Tennyson and while ‘The Assassin’ has been training with a game plan mapped out by Tony Dunlop he admits their input has helped.

“He is a good boxer, a really good boxer. I was talking to Ronnie Clarke and Cacace and they were telling me the way he boxes and a few bits. I was sparring with those boys too so we are ready to show what we can do,” the power puncher told Irish-Boxing.com.

“I have watched bit and pieces on him and myself and Tony have a game plan laid out, but it’s always good to get  bits of lads that have been in with him.”

The #4 WBA fighter was in the Europa Hotel to watch stable mate Paul Hyland Jr set up a British title shot with victory over David Birmingham last weekend and you get the feeling he was wishing he was fighting Ward as early as last Saturday.

Tennyson is midway through a good camp and seems to chomping at the bit.

“It’s a cracking fight a really good fight. It’s a massive opportunity, pay per view card and a big bill. I am really looking forward to it and at this stage I just can’t wait to get the show on the road. Camp has gone well so far it’s a few weeks away but I feel like I could jump in now. I really can’t wait for it.”

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn is a fan of the entertaining Belfast fighter, but there is no doubt he will by vying for Ward early next month.

The London-based fighter will certainly get home comforts, but Tennyson isn’t bothered about being seen as the B side.

“I am going to be the away fighter. It’s in London so you have to expect that, but I am well prepared regardless of where the fight is. I am going to out put a shift in and win that belt,” he added before claiming his London defeat to Ryan Walsh shouldn’t be read into at all.

“I have been on the road before fighting for the British title. I can take stuff from the experience of being out of Belfast and that, but listen everyone knows it was tough at the weight for me when I was fighting for that title. I wasn’t myself in there. This time everything is well on track and feeling great.”

The MHD fighter was in the frame for a WBA world title shot earlier this year. However, promoter Mark Dunlop didn’t feel comfortable allowing his man to challenge Miguel Berchelt [32(28)-1(1)] last minute in a Mexican bull ring for less than half the money that Matchroom are paying for the European title fight.

Tennyson trusts his managers decision and is content in the knowledge a win come May 5th should see him take a massive step toward a world title tilt.

“With the WBA title being on the line plus the European title that will only boost my ranking. It’s possible I could be knocking on the door for a world title if I win this. I am happy the way things worked out it just wasn’t the right the offer and we will get the win here and see what comes then.”

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