James Tennyson targeting Matchroom lightweights following knockout return

James Tennyson claims he will be on the phone to Eddie Hearn to tell the Matchroom boss to warn his lightweights that ‘The Assassin’ is coming.

The Belfast banger moved up to 135lbs and looked impressive as well as strong as he bounced back from super featherweight world title defeat to IBF champ Tevin Farmer with a second round stoppage of the previously unbeaten Garry Neale on Saturday night at the Ulster Hall.

The former two-weight Irish champion and European title holder claims he feels better for having moved up the scales and believes there are big fights at lightweight for him.

Hearn, who has a good working relationship with Tenny’s manager Mark Dunlop and has promoted the Belfast fighters biggest bouts, looks after the likes of recent European title challenger Lewis Ritson, Ricky Burns, and Tommy Coyle – all names the 25-year-old would be interested in trading leather with.

“We will be on the phone to Eddie Hearn soon and hopefully we can do something big with me, him, Mark, and the team,” Tennyson [23(19)-3(3)] said after his ‘A Night To Remember’ victory. 

Tennyson still holds the Commonwealth 130lbs title but, having come in over 137lbs for his fight at the weekend, a return to super feather seems unlikely.

The Poleglass puncher is happier at the higher weight and noted how “I felt a lot stronger. I felt better I felt strong and really comfortable at lightweight.”

“The next one will be at lightweight maybe, I’ll talk with Mark, Tony and Dan and we will see,” he added before delighting in returning to winning ways over Portsmouth puncher Neale.

“Straight back to business, I love it,” declared Tennyson.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable and we want plenty more like that.”

“It was good. I just wanted to get back out there and get the win. I had my lose in the world title fight and I wanted to just go out and get a win. I got myself back out there and back to winning ways and now lets see what comes up.”

While Tennyson was desperate to return to winning ways as early into 2019 as possible, he is adamant that defeat at world level hasn’t hampered his career.

The Belfast Kronk fighter is not one with an ‘0’ love affair and, having previously proved he has comeback potential on two separate occasions, is confident he can do it again.

However, the big punching fighter claims, when he does work his way back to world level, he will have enough experience to ensure he claims the top prizes boxing has to offer.

Tennyson outlined how “a loss realistically doesn’t affect my career. I am still young. Every fight I am building a lot of experience. I am still learning and still young, so a defeat won’t define me.”

“An 0 means nothing to me. I want to keep on getting big fights and learning. I have time on my side so a few years down the line I will be a hell of a better fighter.”

Trainer Tony Dunlop concurs and explained how “what it is, James turned pro at 18 and he has been well managed. He has fought a lot of good fighters.”

“Any losses he has are now experience. He has the mind of a fighter and the heart of a warrior. Defeat to him was a learning experience especially at just 25.”

“As a kid he always had world class ability, heart and he has punching power to go with that. James Tennyson is going to keep improving and he will end up as one of the greatest fighters in Irish boxing history.”


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com