No “handy” return for James Tennyson who targets return to World level

James Tennyson [22(18)-3(3)] returns to the ring on February 9th, bolstered by his experience at the top echelons of the sport and ready to go on a charge in 2019.

The Poleglass super featherweight, still only 25 years of age, lost out to IBF champion Tevin Farmer in Boston in October on a Matchroom-DAZN bill at the TD Garden.

Tennyson has taken the fifth-round body shot stoppage on the chin and comes back in a Commonwealth title fight at the famous Ulster Hall.

“Straight back in, that’s what I want,” said an upbeat Tennyson.

“I want these world titles. I’m just off the back of a world title fight and I don’t want to go back to taking handy fights, I want to be back in competitive fights, title fights, and keep working my way up again,” he added before reflecting on the Farmer fights.

“I took plenty of positives from it.”

“The highest level of boxing, in America, it was unbelievable, and I just want to pick up where I left off.”

‘The Assassin’ will defend the Commonwealth belt he won versus Martin J Ward back in May having kept the rainbow strap despite the world title loss.

Tennyson takes on a to-be-confirmed foe and is eager to get straight back to winning ways and progressing through the ranks quickly again following a sensational 2017-18 period.

The MHD fighter noted that “it’s good that I wasn’t left empty-handed after the world title loss, I still have something to offer. Hopefully there’ll be some big fights there to help me work my way back up.”

“I just to be busy and get the win, start the year off with a good win then go for whatever comes up – I’m sure Mark [Dunlop, manager] has plenty of options and plenty of things to bring to the table for me,” he added before discussing the possibility of a change of weight.

“Eventually I probably will be a lightweight, so Mark has lots of options and I think we will have plenty of things lined-up for 2019.”

Tennyson continued, admitting that “making the weight for every fight is a push, but how much of a push is it? We don’t know. It could be a factor but, at the minute, I think we’ll be okay.”

Dunlop added that “there is nothing to stop him dipping his toes into lightweight we could be up-and-down. Eventually, by next season [September] he will be a full-fledged lightweight, so we will do that.”

It all, however, starts at the Ulster Hall on February 9th – a bill which Dunlop hopes will be incorporated into the Matchroom JDNXTGEN series.

Tennyson actually featured on the previous pro show at the atmospheric Belfast venue back in October 2012 where he obliterated Hungarian Tibor Meszaros

The popular Ulsterman recalled how “it was my second pro fight, I was 19 and full of nerves.”

“It was an amazing place to be fighting and it was packed out, the noise in the place was unbelievable, so I’m expecting a good, loud night again and plenty of great atmosphere on the night.”

“It will be good to get back in here to defend my title, get back to winning ways, and start working my way back up towards them [world] titles.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: