James Tennyson believes he has found his perfect weight after moving up to the 135lbs division where he has finished all four of his contests inside the distance in brutal fashion, earning him a shot at the vacant British Lightweight Title against Gavin Gwynne on Saturday August 1, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
The big-hitting Belfast powerhouse (26-3, 22 KOs) was originally scheduled to face Gwynne at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff in May before COVID-19 put the sporting world on hold, but now gets the opportunity to make it two KOs in a row over Welsh opponents following his 11th round stoppage win over Craig Evans.
An impressive six-fight unbeaten streak at Super-Featherweight saw ‘The Assassin’ secure his first World Title shot against IBF ruler Tevin Farmer in Boston in October 2018. Tennyson says he suffered badly in attempting to shed weight before the fight and insists he feels much more comfortable at Lightweight as he looks to mount a fresh World Title charge at Matchroom Fight Camp.
“My last few fights at Super-Featherweight 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.
“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.”
GWYNNE: THIS HAS GOT ‘WAR’ WRITTEN ALL OVER IT
Welshman predicts late stoppage win against Tennyson
Gavin Gwynne is expecting an all-out war when he squares off with Belfast’s big-hitting James Tennyson for the vacant British Lightweight Title on the first week of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday August 1, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Gwynne (12-1, 2 KOs) will become the first Welshman to fight since the coronavirus pandemic hit when he attempts to win the prestigious Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt at the second attempt next week in the evening’s co-main event.
His first shot at the famous belt came against Cardiff’s Joe Cordina on the undercard of the blockbuster PPV World Title clash between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell at The O2 last August. He fell short in that fight against a slick operator but the 30-year-old says Tennyson’s aggressive style will play into his hands.
“This has got a war written all over,” said Gwynne. “I don’t like to take a backwards step and I know Tennyson just comes forward. He’s a massive puncher and I’ve got to use my boxing ability. With Joe it was a totally different fight, I had to go forwards, he’s a lot quicker but Tennyson just holds his feet and just likes to bang away.
“The guys I fight are usually a lot shorter and aren’t as strong as me so I’m the one pushing forward. I think I’m going to stop him late on but I know James is going to be on the front foot and he’s going to be trudging forward trying to take my head clean off. I’m going to show him my boxing ability and show what I can do on my feet. I’ll show him a bit of my power too.
“He’s a really good fighter obviously. He fought for a World Title a couple of years ago. You don’t get to that level without being a great fighter. I just think I’ve got the beating of him, I really do. There’s just something inside me telling me that. Nobody is going to beat me on August 1st.”
Tennyson vs. Gwynne lands on Week 1 of Matchroom Fight Camp, top of the bill sees Sam Eggington (28-6, 17 KOs) put his IBF International Super-Welterweight Title on the line against Ted Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KOs), Chatteris talent Jordan Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) meets Watford’s Reece Bellotti (14-3, 12 KOs) in an electric Featherweight battle, fast-rising Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) steps up to take on Middlesbrough’s Simon Vallily (17-2-1, 7 KOs) for the vacant English belt and gifted Sheffield Super-Lightweight Dalton Smith (5-0, 4 KOs) squares off with Liverpool’s Nathan Bennett (9-1, 2 KOs).