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‘Standout dark-horse of the lightweight division’- Eddie Hearn impressed with James Tennyson

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Standout lightweight dark-horse James Tennyson [25(21)-3(3)] may be set to bolt out of the traps in 2020 according to Eddie Hearn.

The Belfast fighter is now campaigning in his third pro weight class, moving up to lightweight having won titles at feather and super feather – and Hearn believes the extra few pounds looks good on the Mark Dunlop managed man.

The former European champion and recent world title challenger has carried his power up the scales, scoring brutal knockouts over Gary Neale, journey man Brayan Mairena and Yorkshire stylist Atif Shafiq since being stopped by IBF super featherweight world champion Tevin Farmer.

That punching power aligned with the fact the Belfast Kronk fighter looks less vulnerable at 135lbs prompts Hearn to suggest the Tony Dunlop trained banger can have a real impact in the new division.

“James Tennyson might be the standout dark horse of the lightweight division,” said Hearn. [lightweight British champion] Joe Cordina is fighting at super featherweight in Monaco, if he wins there, if he is comfortable there he might vacate the title. Tennyson could go on a real run at lightweight now. He punches really hard and I think a lot of the frailties that he had at 130lbs have gone now.”

Tennyson faces a tough lightweight test when he returns to a Matchroom and Sky Sports show in Liverpool this weekend.

‘The Assassin’, who has crammed so much into his career considering he is still only 26, takes on two time Stephen Ormond defeater Craig Evans on the undercard of Callum Smith versus John Ryder.

Hearn notes it’s not an easy fight considering Evan’s pedigree, but believes Tennyson will emerge victorious after an entertaining fight.

“Craig Evans we have seen have some good wins, good fighter, good amateur as well. You gotta’ fancy Tennyson in this fight, but Evans has the boxing ability to make it very difficult. Gavin Rees the trainer for Evans, top top guy and really underrated trainer. I think it’s a brilliant fight”.


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 sports for a living for over 20 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