Words which may have shocked most up until just under six months ago when he sensationally claimed the European title – but Tennyson [22(18)-2(2)] isn’t surprised at all.
The Belfast super featherweight challenges IBF champion Tevin Farmer [26(5)-4(2)-1] at the TD Garden tomorrow night, live on Sky Sports and DAZN, on a big day for Irish boxing.
At many stages in his career, Tennyson would have been considered an unlikely world title challenger – from his away-from-the-spotlight move to the pros, to his shock lost to Latvian journeyman Pavels Senkovs, to his defeat at domestic level just two-and-a-half years ago.
However, ‘The Assassin’ has had unshakeable belief and goes into his clash with the Philly southpaw full of confidence and with a sense that he belongs at world level following sensational run of stoppage wins over the past two years.
Tennyson described how “I feel I deserve this, I’ve worked my way up, I’m here and ready to go in the shape of my life.”
“It’s a massive opportunity for me out here in America, I’m making my debut fighting for a world title.”
“It’s shocked a lot of people but it hasn’t shocked me. I’ve worked hard to get myself here”
“I’m out here to prove a point and cement myself as a world champion.”
While knockout wins over Declan Geraghty, Ryan Doyle, and Darren Traynor impressed, it was the 25-year-old’s come-from-behind fifth-round dethroning of European and Commonwealth champion Marin J Ward that got many people talking.
That fight was a boxer v puncher affair where the physically-bigger Tennyson wore down and defeated a more skilful opponent and the Poleglass powerhouse can foresee something similar tomorrow night.
“They [Ward and Farmer] are sort of similar,” he noted. “The same sort of style only the opposite stance.”
“He’s a hit and move fighter, he’s good on the feet, like Martin J Ward, he’s sort of similar and I’m expecting the same.”
“The guy’s got bags of skill, he’s a real good operator. I’m expecting a tough night, he’s going to be a tricky opponent but I’m more than ready”
“Sensible pressure, I need to be calm, I need to be smart, I can’t rush in. sensible pressure will do the job.”
Manager Mark Dunlop is predicting a 66/1 first-round stoppage win – evoking memories of Kiko Martinez’s upset of Bernard Dunne 11 years ago – but Tennyson himself isn’t making any specific picks.
“Just get the win,” he noted.
“I’ll always just go out there, work hard, leave it all out there, and get the win.”