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Stephen Smith targets Tennyson title clash

Former world title challenger Stephen Smith has set his sights on European glory and Belfast super feather James Tennyson [22(18)-2(2)].

The Liverpool fighter was stopped in his last fight having suffered a brutal cut to his ear and a technical decision loss to former WBC titleholder Francisco Vargas as a result. 

There were some who suggested that the smallest of the four boxing brothers may call it a day after the December loss.

However, ‘Swifty’ is back in training and is eyeing a clash with Tennyson who won the famous blue EBU strap with a sensational fifth-round stoppage victory over Martin J Ward, a fight in which he rose from the canvas in the second.

A fight between Smith [25(15)-4(1)] and the big-punching MHD world-ranked fighter would be easy to make considering the pair’s links to Matchroom – and it would look an ideal chief support to a possible WBSS Belfast-hosted Ryan Burnett fight night in September or October.

However Smith, whose brother Liam is a possible future Dennis Hogan foe, admits he needs a warm up fight first.

“Hopefully I’ll be back in the ring in September, I’d love to fight for the European title held by James Tennyson, I wanted the winner of the Ward-Tennyson and Tennyson won.”

“I understand I need to get back to winning ways before I can start calling people out though,” pointed out Smith when speaking to World Boxing News.

The former British champion’s ambitions don’t halt at continental level and Tennyson the super featherweight wants to make it third time lucky in terms of a world title.

“I am hoping it will be third time lucky for the world title, it’s something I’ve dreamt of since I was a kid and I know, obviously I’m running out of time.”

“I want one more go and get to that world level once more, it’s been a difficult weight division, at one time there was [Vasyl] Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis, [Miguel] Berchelt and [Jezreel] Corrales, all with world titles.

“I want to give it one more go and I think the European title will be a good stepping stone to do that,” he noted.

Tennyson has also been indirectly called out by recent sparring partner Anthony Cacace [16(7)-1(0)] with ‘The Apache’s’ manager Pat Magee stating his desire for a September all-Belfast fight.

The fighter with some of the most eye-catching Irish performances in recent times is highly ranked and could set his sights on securing a world title shot over the next few months.

A European defence first, however, could be perfect for the Belfast man who also holds the Commonwealth title.

European champion Tennyson is back in training and is expected to reveal details of his next fight very soon.

As he was a voluntary defence for Ward, a mandatory defence of the European belt is required next and Frenchman Samir Ziani [27(5)-3(0)-1] is the fighter that occupies this spot.

The pair initially had until yesterday afternoon to agree a fight before purse bids were called but this has now been extended to next Wednesday [June 13th].


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