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James Tennyson feels he is “a level above” Dangerous Doyle

With just four days notice James Tennyson [18(14)-2(2)] was handed a tougher opponent than what was expected – but there was no hesitation on the part of the Poleglass puncher.

The Irish super featherweight champion had been due to box Ben Jones on the Matchroom ‘Belfast Boy’ card at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday, however with just four days until fight night this was switched to Ryan Doyle [14(8)-1(1)-1].

Most would argue that the Manchester-Dub presents a tougher test than Jones, but this was no problem for Tennyson.

“That’s just me,” Tennyson told Irish-Boxing.com. “I took it at the drop of a hat.”

“I’m just here to fight, I’m not really looking for easy fights, I need fights like this, tough fights, fights that are going to test me, and I’m going to learn from..”

“The late change doesn’t really change anything, I’ve a job to do on Saturday night. I’ll just approach every fight the same. I’ve to go in and get the job done.”

“I’m going to be chief support so it’s a massive opportunity, a massive stage, a world title fight [topping the bill] and I fight for a title myself. I have to take this opportunity for my fans.”

Tennyson has some knowledge of his new opponent, a former English featherweight champion. and believes he has the edge going into the Lee Haskins v Ryan Burnett-topped bill.

The big-punching Belfast man described how “I’ve watched a few wee clips here and there of him. My trainer [Tony Dunlop], he’s watched him. He has a similar style to myself, he’s a come-forward, aggressive fighter.”

“It’s got the makings of an exciting scrap. It’s definitely a better opponent, and it’s definitely going to be a better fight.”

“I wouldn’t talk much about it, he’s obviously strong himself, but I feel I do have the upper hand, I feel I’ll be a level above him and I’m going to show that on the night.”

The fight on Saturday will be for the WBA International title, but there are other belts which ‘The Assassin’ has his eye on.

Tennyson’s fellow Belfast man, Anto Cacace, boxes Martin J Ward for the British and Commonwealth titles in London on July 15th, and a fight between the winners of the two fights would seem to make sense in the near future.

The 23 year old noted how “they’re titles I’ll be looking to get in on as well.”

“I lost out [for the British title] at featherweight, so I’m up in weight now and I’ll be chasing them eventually, they’ll come.”

The Burnett-Haskins undercard also features an Irish cruiserweight title fight between Luke Watkins and Ian Tims, Feargal McCrory v Paul Holt, Paul Hyland Jr v Adam Dingsdale and appearances from Padraig McCrory, Paddy Gallagher, Sean Magee, and Tyrone McCullagh, as well as the return of Mike Perez.

Tickets for ‘Belfast Boy’ on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought 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