James Tennyson ready to welcome familiar foe into “my playground”

James Tennyson [19(15)-2(2)] has a lot in common with his upcoming opponent.

Aberdeen’s Darren Traynor [14(6)-1(1)] possesses a similar style to the Poleglass man, is champion of his country, and gave a valiant performance against British featherweight champion Ryan Walsh before being stopped in the fifth round and stepping up in weight.

Indeed, the pair were due to fight each other on February 6th 2016 before some British title maneuvering saw this fight shelved.

Now, on Saturday October 21st, the pair will clash for Tennyson’s WBA International title, and perhaps the soon-to-be-vacant Commonwealth belt, on the much bigger Belfast stage of the SSE Odyssey Arena.

One of the television fights on the Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov bantamweight unification undercard, Tennyson is confident of victory against a familiar foe.

‘The Assassin’s’ initial bout with Traynor, a British featherweight title final eliminator, was scrapped after Tennyson’s team agreed to step aside and allow the ‘Trayn-Wreck’ a shot at champion Ryan Walsh – with the Belfast fighter guaranteed a shot at the winner.

Having had a fight with Traynor previously scheduled, the MHD-managed fighter will be able to root out some old notes ahead of the upcoming test.

“We went over to Scotland and had a wee nosey, took a few pictures and stuff,” recalled Tennyson.

“He’s a good, come-forward fighter. I’m not going to have to look for him, he’s going to meet me centre-ring. That suits me, and it’s going to be something similar to last time [TKO6 win over Ryan Doyle] I would say.”

“He’s sharp, he’s quick, and he’s fit. He’s going to be there for me, letting shots go.”

“It was always a fight that could be made. It was always a fight that was going to happen at some stage down the line. It’s a fight that’s been in the making.”

Both stopped by the extremely impressive Walsh, Tennyson believes he is the one who has improved the most up at super featherweight

The 23 year old noted how “I think we were both stopped in the fifth round, which just goes to show that are styles are similar. Obviously we’ve both had a few fights since then, it just depends on who’s progressed the best, and I believe that I’m going to win. I feel I’m the bigger and stronger guy.”

“I’m feeling comfortable, feeling strong at the weight, so long may it continue. I wont make the same mistake I did before where I was killing myself to make the weight.”

With similar styles, a big platform on Sky Sports, and an eagerness to entertain, Tennyson is promising a good fight in seven weeks time.

The Ulsterman outlined how “I’m happy [to go to war]. That’s my style, that suits me down to the ground, that’s my playground. I’m always there for the fight. I can box as well, whatever needs to be done I can adjust on the night and bring the title home.”

“I’ll make sure it’s a great fight for the crowd.”

The Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov undercard also features Paul Hyland v Stephen Ormond, Tyrone McKenna v Tommy Coyle, Feargal McCrory, Jay Byrne, and Josh Kelly, with more still to be announced.

Tickets for the night cost £30, £40, £60, £100, £150 (VIP), and are available from the boxers involved or through HERE

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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