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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 23 January 2021

Hearn eyeing December Canelo card and 'superfights' for Taylor provided she passes Boston test

Eddie Hearn also admitted that tonight’s title fight between his US recruit Tevin Farmer and Ireland’s James Tennyson ‘could go either way’.

Image: Nick Potts

Gavan Casey reports from Boston

EDDIE HEARN SAYS he decided midweek to bump Katie Taylor’s world title defence against Cindy Serrano to the co-main event slot of tonight’s world title triple-header at Boston’s TD Garden, and claims the Braywoman will have seen her fair share of women’s superfights by the time she hangs up the gloves in four or five years’ time.

The Matchroom Boxing chief has also admitted his belief that Ireland’s James Tennyson poses a serious threat to one of his star US signings, IBF world champion Tevin Farmer, in a title fight which he can envisage swinging in either man’s favour when they trade leather at the home of the Celtics and Bruins.

“I feel like she’s a star”, Hearn told The42 of Taylor, firstly, “and I think the atmosphere for her is going to be incredible in the arena. And that’s why we made that decision [to make her fight the co-main event].

It’s great for women’s boxing. I’ve been a longtime fan of Katie Taylor but the truth is she’s becoming a major star, not just in Ireland or in England, but in America as well.

Katie Taylor with Eddie Hearn Source: Emily Harney/INPHO

Earlier in the week, Taylor described as ‘mentally fragile’ Serrano’s sister, Amanda, the six-weight world champion whom Taylor has had her eye on since turning over from the amateur ranks in 2016.

The younger of the Puerto Rican sisters, both of whom reside in Brooklyn, Amanda recently defected to the sport of MMA for financial reasons, explaining that boxing had failed to pay her her dues despite an illustrious career to this point.

Hearn believes he can lure the 30-year-old back into the boxing ring, but was quick to point out that a fight with the more naturally-talented Serrano sister is far from the be-all and end-all as far as Taylor’s career is concerned.

“I think Katie’s main aim is to win all the belts and become undisputed champion”, he said, “but you look at the superfights out there for her — and Cindy’s a big fight tomorrow night — but Amanda is a very big fight.

“Cecilia Braekhus at a catchweight — I saw you guys drop an article on that this week. Delfine Persoon is the WBC champion — that’s a very tough fight.

So, she’s looking at all those fights, and she’s probably got another four or five years left in her career, I think, so potentially another 10, 12 fights. She wants to be involved in the biggest fights possible.

The Essex promoter also confirmed that should she emerge from tonight’s test relatively unscathed, Taylor will likely fight once more before the year is out — either on the Canelo vs Rocky Fielding bill in New York on 15 December, or a week later at the O2 in London when Dillian Whyte rematches Dereck Chisora.

Taylor’s compatriot James ‘The Assassin’ Tennyson challenges another Hearn fighter, Philadelphia’s Tevin Farmer, in a bid to relieve the ‘American Idol’ of his IBF super-featherweight world title strap.

Hearn has worked plenty with Tennyson and his manager-promoter Mark Dunlop in the past, most notably last time out when the West Belfast puncher peeled himself off the canvas to bomb out Martin J. Ward and claim the European title.

Despite his obvious allegiance to Matchroom fighter Farmer, Hearn admits he’s concerned by Tennyson’s considerable weaponry, and hopes Farmer hasn’t taken his eye off the ball ahead of tonight’s eagerly anticipated encounter.

“Very dangerous,” he says. “I wanted this fight. I don’t think it’s one that they [Farmer's team] would have chosen as a voluntary defence, but I sort of said that, ‘We’re going to Boston, Tennyson is coming over from Belfast, it’s a good fight.’

“He’s earned that right — he’s ranked number one by the WBA, he’s ranked highly across all the governing bodies. He had a big win against Martin Ward. And listen, James Tennyson can punch.

I think he’s one of the hardest punchers… I won’t say pound-for-pound, but certainly in the division. And, you know, Farmer’s almost too confident. He’s talking about Gervonta Davis, this and that. And I said to him: ‘This guy [Tennyson] can punch!’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah…’

“He phoned me up and he said, ‘When I beat Tennyson, can I get out in December?’ I said, ‘If you get through Tennyson, and you’re good to go, yeah — you can box in December.’

“He’s like, ‘Great, aw…’ But it’s like, ‘Mate, are you concentrating on this fight?’

Tevin Farmer and James Tennyson Tevin Farmer and James Tennyson stare each other down at yesterday's weigh-in Source: Emily Harney/INPHO

But he’s a good pro,” Hearn adds of Farmer. “I think he’s worked so hard to win that world title, he’s not just looking to be complacent and throw it away. But, as I said, Tennyson’s got that equaliser. He can knock anyone out cold.

“So, we’ll see. But Mark Dunlop and those guys — they’re good guys, you know? They’re coming to Boston to try and win the world title. This is everything. You have to imagine what it would mean to these people to become a world champion.

They’re not going to go in the ring and just fold! They’re going to do everything, give you every ounce of their soul, to try and become world champion. That’s how you get great fights. Farmer against Tennyson… That could go either way. It’s going to be a thrilling fight.

“That would be a massive win for Ireland if Tennyson could become world champion on Saturday.”

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Taylor, Tennyson and respective opponents make weight for Irish world title doubleheader

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