Former WBO cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson sent boxing’s social media ranks into a collective meltdown on Saturday night after boldly claiming Belfast’s James Tennyson would defeat Gervonta Davis on current form.

Nelson, working as an analyst for Sky Sports, was certainly impressed by Tennyson’s one-round annihilation of untested Canadian Josh O’Reilly, perhaps too impressed, stating that the Belfast banger would have too much for WBA Regular champion Davis, who has performed at a significantly higher station.

The exciting Tennyson is a natural puncher who seems to have found his footing at 135lbs, but ‘Tank’ Davis’ brutal KO of Leo Santa Cruz in October is on another level to anything the Northern Irishman has achieved at this point. A blowout win over O’Reilly should not be enough to catapult Tennyson into that company, but Nelson thinks otherwise.

“With that punch power, I think – it might not go down too well – I think he’ll beat Gervonta Davis now,” said Nelson, to the collective raising of eyebrows across the UK. 

“I’m telling you, the power that young man’s got, the hunger he’s got. Listen, give the boy a chance. I’m telling you now, put him in with Davis.

“We’ve just seen [the WBA] number ten knock out the WBA number eight, okay it’s about levels. So at that level, now you’re talking about fighters that can punch, that can fight.

“He just made easy work of number eight so to me he’s a world title contender. With that kind of power, I back my words every day.”

Main image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.