The Irish super featherweight took on IBF beltholder Tevin Farmer at the TD Garden and was halted in the fifth round by an extremely impressive champion.
Bodyshots undid the brave Belfast challenger who was put down in the fourth and fifth rounds by the Philidelphia southpaw who successfully defended his belt for the first time.
Farmer won the belt back in August, dominating Aussie veteran Billy Dib in Sydney to claim the title which was stripped from Gervonta Davis.
The Mayweather Promotions star had been a constant topic of discussion in the build-up to the clash but Farmer would consistently state that he was affording Tennyson his full attention and certainly gave a statement performance on the Matchroom DAZN show.
Since moving up from featherweight, Tennyson had been on a hot streak with domestic stoppage wins over Declan Geraghty, Ryan Doyle, and Darren Traynor before a stunning European and Commonwealth title triumph over unbeaten champion Martin J Ward.
Ranked #1 with the WBA, the organisation’s beltholders (don’t ask) Alberto Machado and the aforementioned Davis had looked like realistic possibilities before a surprising voluntary choice from Farmer.
Picking a puncher with legitimate power and a massive size advantage struck as something of an odd move but ‘The American Idol’ showed his class, evading much of Tennyson’s work and even standing toe-to-toe with the 25-year-old Belfast Kronk man.
Farmer, as expected, kept things tidy early on, picking his shots and slipping most of Tennyson’s big shots, with the Ulsterman pushing forward relentlessly.
In the third, however, the champion elected to stand in range, attempting to push the Irishman back before targeting the body with venom.
The bodywork was proving deadly and Tennyson was sent down in the fourth from a snaked left hook. Down and in pain, ‘The Assassin’ rose and attempted to force Farmer back, seeing out the round but the writing was on the wall.
Tennyson did put on a last stand, coming back at the start of the fifth with uppercuts before the bodyshots of Farmer came in raining in again, with a left hook again causing the Poleglass puncher to wilt. Tennyson, somehow, remained on his feet but was put down soonafter with a counter left and, to his frustration, wasn’t given an opportunity to beat the count with referee Arthur Mercante Jr calling an immediate halt to the contest.
The inside-the-distance defeat for Tennyson sees his record slide to 22(18)-3(3) while 28-year-old Farmer moves to 27(6)-4(2)-1 and will now face the winner of the December final eliminator between Dubliner Jono Carroll and Frenchman Guillaume Frenois – although he himself is keen on Davis.
For Tennyson, he leaves Boston defeated but not disgraced having taken a chance but coming up short. The MHD fighter retains his Commonwealth belt and will no doubt be back in competitive fights next year – perhaps at lightweight.