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James Tennyson confident he can compete with Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia

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Tennyson will likely be fighting for the British title when he returns.

James Tennyson was set to fight for the British lightweight title against Gavin Gwynne in May, and by all appearances will still be getting that crack when Matchroom Boxing returns to action in the United Kingdom.

The 26-year-old from Northern Ireland has bigger hopes, of course, but his sights are currently set on Gwynne.

“Like a lot of fighters, I have itchy knuckles and have plans of becoming a world champion,” he said on another edition of The Lockdown Tapes. “Because of that I need to get this fight, win, and then kick on. This will be my first British title win, I’m really looking forward to it and it will be a great fight against Gavin Gwynne.”

Tennyson (26-3, 22 KO) is a former European and Commonwealth champion at 130 pounds, and had an IBF title shot against Tevin Farmer in Oct. 2018. Farmer dropped Tennyson twice and finished him in the fifth round. Tennyson also has losses to Ryan Walsh in a British featherweight title fight in 2016, and a stoppage to one of those journeymen with the crazy records (the 2-64-5 Pavels Senkovs) in 2013.

The Belfast-based fighter is always game, though, and has a couple of decent domestic wins over Atif Shafiq and Craig Evans in his last two outings, having moved up to lightweight after the loss to Farmer.

It would be reasonable to question whether his chin can hold up at the top level — Farmer is no puncher, and nobody is confusing Ryan Walsh for Manny Pacquiao — but Tennyson does have world title aspirations still, too, and he feels he can compete with WBC titleholder Devin Haney or top prospect Ryan Garcia.

“I think that Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez are the two top men at the weight,” said Tennyson. “Once Lomachenko moves down it opens up the whole division. As for the other guys like Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney, I am confident I can mix it with any of them and win a world title at this weight.”