UK slugger James Tennyson will look to pick up some new hardware on Matchroom’s May 1st Joseph Parker-Derek Chisora undercard, taking on Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon in a bid for the IBO lightweight title.
IBO World title!! The one i’ve been waiting and working for! The count down begins to become World champion 1st of May!! #AndTheNew #TeamTennyson #Repost @matchroomboxing with @make_repost— James Tennyson (@JamesT931) April 14, 2021
Tennyson (28-3, 24 KO) has won six straight by knockout since a 2018 loss to Tevin Farmer, including a sixth-round finish of Gavin Gwynne for the British title and a two-minute mauling of Josh O’Reilly last time out. The latter was supposedly a WBA eliminator, but the sanctioning body currently has him ranked seventh, who knows whether anything will come of that.
“Winning the IBO World Title will be a dream come true for me,” said Tennyson. “I have worked my whole life for this moment. This is my big opportunity to complete my collection of belts. I’ve won British, Commonwealth, European and two WBA Titles. All that’s missing is a World Title.
“The other guys holding belts at Lightweight haven’t been putting their belts on the line against each other. Winning the IBO will hopefully dangle a carrot in front of the other World Champions and entice them into a big unification fight. I’m expecting a tough fight, Mexican’s are well known for their toughness. I’ll have to bring my A game.”
Straffon (23-3-1, 16 KO) is on a nine-fight winning streak of his own dating back to 2018, though none of his wins came over anyone of note. The best you can say is that he’s never been stopped, but then again, Matchroom’s already had a poor experience with an unknown Mexican bruiser this year.
“I’ve been working hard for many years to get a fight like this,” said Straffon. “I will not waste it. I will go up in the ring thinking about my two little daughters and how I need to win this for them. Maybe if I win, Eddie Hearn will want to work with me and my team in the future.”
The show will also see Dmitry Bivol and Katie Taylor defend their respective titles against Craig Richards and Natasha Jonas, plus a clash between Chris Eubank Jr and Marcus Morrison.