Former world title challenger James Tennyson has made some bold comments recently, having moved up to lightweight and feeling he can compete with the likes of Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia, and has the confidence he can win a world title at 135.
The 26-year-old Tennyson (26-3, 22 KO) is a former European and Commonwealth champion at 130, and challenged Tevin Farmer for the IBF belt in 2018, losing via fifth round TKO. He’s since moved up to 135 and won four straight, including solid domestic wins over Atif Shafiq and Craig Evans in his last two bouts.
He’s now slated for action on Matchroom’s Aug. 1 card on DAZN, where he’ll face Gavin Gwynne (12-1, 2 KO) for the vacant British lightweight title.
Tennyson says the added pounds have kept him stronger, and punch power has always been one of his main assets, anyway.
“My last few fights at (130 pounds) were starting to really push me on the weight as the fights went on,” admitted Tennyson. “Once the fight with Tevin Farmer came about it was one fight too many with doing the weight. I’m a natural lightweight now, it’s not a push or a struggle to do the weight. I’m feeling strong, fit and healthy at the weight. Things have gone from strength-to-strength for me with four straight knockout wins so the move up in weight has done me good.
“Not cutting that extra few pounds is really helping my performances, I’m a lot stronger at the weight which makes a big difference. My record shows that I’m one of the hardest-hitting lightweights in the division at the minute. I prepare for 12 hard rounds, but of course I’ll always be looking for that moment where you can just end the fight. My experience and my power will be a big factor in the fight. It always presents itself at some stage, it’s just when that opportunity arises, whether it’s round one or round twelve, I’ll pounce on it.”
Gwynne, 30, is really a domestic level fighter, but a solid one. He scored a good win over Myron Mills in a British title eliminator in 2018, but lost his shot at the belt against Joe Cordina in Aug. 2019. With Cordina vacating, he gets the chance again against Tennyson, who isn’t taking Gwynne lightly at all, and expects a fan-friendly fight.
“This is a massive fight for my career. Gavin is a real tough lad. We’re both two come-forward fighters and I believe that our styles are going to gel. It’s going to be a good war and I feel like this is a must-win fight for me. I’ll be ready come fight night. You can’t look past Gavin because he’s a big tough guy but down the line I want another world title shot. Get this one out of the way and I’ll start chasing down that world title.”