It was more warrior than clinical assassin from James Tennyson tonight, but he still registered impressive stoppage win to secure British title mandatory position.
‘The Assassin’ has taken all his lightweight opponents out clean and relatively early, but need a more bullish even mean approach to secure important victory tonight.
Tennyson eventually took out the brass balled and iron chinned Craig Evans after just under 11 brutal and high paced rounds to set up a shot at the British title currently held by Joe Cordina.
The Mark Dunlop managed fighter looked on course for another early night as he dropped his opponent in the first, but Evans showed real guts and heart to make all the way to the penultimate round.
The Welshman, who holds two wins over Stephen Ormond, recovered from the early knockdown and seemed to find an unusual formula that allowed him to possibly nick some rounds whilst just above surviving.
However, the damage he took eventually slowed him down and took his toll. With face was becoming increasing damaged and his legs slowing Tenny landed a clean left hook in the 11th. Once it landed the outcome was inevitable.
The Belfast fighter pounced and referee Steve Grey stepped in to end a fight, that was wasted on the Sky Sports Facebook feed and hand Tennyson his fourth successive lightweight knockout win.
STOPPAGE! 💥 What a fight between @JamesT931 & Craig Evans 👏— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) November 23, 2019
Tennyson comes out on top, stopping Evans in the 11th round.
📺 Watch the full #SmithRyder card from 7pm on Sky Sports Action! pic.twitter.com/IF59FqT9yN
As ever with Tennyson fights there was no feeling out process in the first round.
The Belfast fighter went in search of his opponent and tried to force the fight. Evans did look quite impressive initially, throwing with regularity and with some venom.
However, despite some good body shots it looked like Evan’s was working hard just to keep the MHD fighter at bay.
Tennyson was enjoying success and at the end of the round a left hook hurt the Welsh fighter, the Belfast man applied the pressure and Evans slipped to the canvas.
Evans showed flashes of skills in the second, but it looked life or death for the Frank Warren puncher. Anytime Tennyson got close he landed big. At the end of the round ‘The Assassin’ landed some massive upper cuts, so viscous where they and such was damage done that Evans looked ripe for the taking.
However, Evans was much improved in the third. He used his feet more, found good distance and enjoyed some success, but still come the end of the round he
The Belfast Krnok fighter continued to apply the pressure in the fifth, but not with the same intelligence. A buoyed Evans was happy to land and move. He continued to frustrate the puncher, but had to work at a high pace to win the round and Tennyson landed some more big shots that he may see the benefit of down the stretch.
By the end of the seventh it was becoming a what you like fight. Tennyson setting the tempo and Evans peppering. The Welsh fighter was landing more punches, but the damage was being done by the Irish fighter. Evans was busted up but was proving what Irish fans already knew, he comes fit and is tough.
Tennyson started to throw with his opponent in the eight and again landed some massive shots. The southpaw, who looked to have a broken nose and a damaged eye, looked to be saved from being stopped when his gumshield came out. However, he took some bombs in the last minute of the stanza and to his credit came back for more.
Just when it looked like frustration was going to get the better of the former world title challenger and he was warned for the use of the arm in a clinch, he finally managed to take Evans out.
The brave Welsh man was caught with a left hook that would have dropped any middleweight. He stayed on his feet, stumbling back to the ropes. Tennyson applied the pressure and Steve Grey was forced to jump in with Evans out on his feet.