Belfast banger James Tennyson believes he can mix it with some of the lightweight division’s newest stars including Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia.

Tennyson (26-3, 22 KOs) is angling for a second world title opportunity at 135lbs after falling short at super-featherweight where he was stopped in five by then-IBF champion Tevin Farmer in Boston in October 2018.

A move up to lightweight has seen the heavy-handed Northern Irishman register four straight stoppages, but now he’s aiming for bigger fish.

“I think that Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez are the two top men at the weight,” Tennyson told Chris Lloyd in the latest episode of Matchroom Boxing’s podcast ‘The Lockdown Tapes’. “Once Lomachenko moves down [in weight], it opens up the whole division. As for the other guys like Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney, I am confident I can mix it with any of them and win a world title at this weight.”

The big-punching Tennyson despatches Darren Traynor. Photo and main image: Sky Sports.

Tennyson was scheduled to battle Welshman Gavin Gwynne for the vacant British lightweight title at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff in May before the event was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The recent Matchroom signing insists he has no problem with taking that fight behind closed doors this summer.

“With how things are, I would fight behind closed doors not a problem,” said Tennyson. “I’ve seen the venue for Fight Camp at Matchroom HQ and it looks great. When you fight on the big shows early, it’s usually empty barring your own support so it wouldn’t make much difference.
 
“Like a lot of fighters, I have itchy knuckles and have plans of becoming a world champion – because of that I need to get this fight, win and then kick on. This will be my first British title win, I’m really looking forward to it and it will be a great fight against Gavin Gwynne.”