James Tennyson wins Fight of the Year contender with Darren Traynor


James Tennyson was involved in his third thrilling fight of 2017

‘The Assassin’ featured in a three-round war on the Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov main event undercard at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast

Following stoppage wins over Declan Geraghty and Ryan Doyle, Tennyson took on Scotland’s Darren Traynor as he sought to defend his WBA International belt in what quickly descended into a rip-roaring shoot-out.

The pair had been due to meet back in February 2016 in a British featherweight title eliminator before a mutual agreement for separate guaranteed shots at the belt. Both defeated in the fifth by champ Ryan Walsh, the pair both stepped up to the more comfortable class of 130lbs and put on a show tonight.

Tennyson got the better of the opener, establishing the jab and twice stiffening the legs of Taynor with big overhand rights.

The visiting Scot was caught at the start of the near-unbelievable second, being sent down with a counter. Traynor was up quick and elected to trade with Tenny – being stunned himself before hurting the Irishman when they both threw left hooks. Tennyson regrouped from a slip to the canvas seconds later and then roared back, bullying ‘Trayn-Wreck’ into a corner and hurting him with straight shots – before the Aberdeen man came back himself again and finished a sensational round the stronger.

The hostilities resumed in the third, with the pair seemingly taking turns to let off volleys of shots. Tennyson would hurt Traynor to the body, with the Scot tucking up and this would eventually be his downfall, with a long right hand from Tennyson clocking him square on the chin and putting him down for the count.

Following a breath-taking fight, Tennyson improves to 20(16)-2(2), while the brave Traynor falls to 14(6)-2(2).

Tennyson is currently ranked #5 by the WBA and the win tonight should bolster this ahead of what could be a very interesting time in his career. Last night WBA champ Jezreel Corrales was stripped of his title for missing weight ahead of his defence against the #4-ranked Albert Machado.

That fight goes ahead tonight in New York, live on HBO, and a win for Corrales could send Machado down the ladder past the rising Tennyson who would be right in the mix for a vacant title shot in the new year.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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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