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Tennyson to face ranked opponent in world-title eliminator in 10 days' time

The hard-hitting Irishman will face Irish-Canadian Josh O’Reilly on 4 December and will aim to put the big dogs at 135 on notice.

Belfast's James Tennyson celebrates his 'Fight Camp' victory over Gavin Gwynne.
Belfast's James Tennyson celebrates his 'Fight Camp' victory over Gavin Gwynne.
Image: Matchroom Boxing/Mark Robinson/INPHO

IRELAND’S JAMES TENNYSON will continue his pursuit of a lightweight world title in 10 days’ time when he faces WBA top-10-ranked Josh O’Reilly on the undercard of Billy Joe Saunders’ super-middleweight title defence against Martin Murray.

Belfast’s ‘Tenny’ [27-3, 23KOs], considered by many on Irish and British shores to be among the hardest-hitting 135-pounders on the planet, is a former European champion a division below and fell short in his only previous world-title bout against Tevin Farmer at 130lbs in October 2018.

But since moving up to lightweight immediately after his world-title defeat, the Eddie Hearn-promoted 27-year-old has registered five straight stoppage victories — his last two against highly regarded British opposition in Craig Evans and Gavin Gwynne.

Belfast’s Tennyson, who picked up the British title in his destruction of Gwynne at Matchroom and Eddie Hearn’s Fight Camp, will face Irish-Canadian opposition in O’Reilly [16-0, 6KOs] who currently holds the North American (NABF) lightweight title and a top-10 ranking with the WBA.

As the bout is not listed as a ‘final’ eliminator, victory would not yet guarantee Tennyson a shot at unified champion Teofimo Lopez who is in current possession of, among others, the WBA world title, but would move him firmly into world-title contention ahead of 2021.

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