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20 MAY 2018

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Tennyson stuns Ward


James Tennyson knocked out Martin J Ward in the fifth round of a fantastic shootout for the European, Commonwealth and WBA International Super Featherweight Championships.

 

Tennyson was forced to climb off the deck in the second round from a sickening body shot but got back to his work and his rugged, aggressive approach was too much for Ward to handle, bullying the Essex man onto the ropes and letting rip with destructive punches that finally proved too much, taking Ward’s European and Commonwealth belts as well as his undefeated record.

 

Ward started the fight behind his sharp, impressive jab and looked to be boxing well. More renowned for his ability rather than punching power and it was proving so, the Tibbs trained fighter was moving in and out of range and raiding Tennyson before the Irishman could get any shots of his own off.

 

A left hook to the body forced a wince out of Tennyson in round two and shortly thereafter a second hook sent him to his knees, visibly winded and in a fair bit of distress. Tennyson survived the round but it was clear in the third that he was still feeling the strain as Ward poured it on with more damaging punches the abdomen and looking to throw uppercuts on the inside. The defending European and Commonwealth champion was looking a class above his opponent at this time, his punch selection and variety demonstrating his quality.

 

But Ward was becoming complacent and standing in the pocket for too long, allowing the heavy handed Tennyson to land blows of his own. A right hand counter in round three should have been a warning shot but Ward did not heed it and in the fourth he was on the receiving end once again, a big left hook and then a powerful right hand had him holding up close as he tried to avoid any more serious damage.

 

Tennyson had the bit between his teeth now and sensed a weakness in his opponent, choosing to step up in the fifth round and take Ward to the cleaners. Ward tried to fight fire with fire but he was no match for Tennyson’s sheer determination and strength, a left hook hurt him before a flurry of left and rights to the head sent Ward staggering back to the ropes. Tennyson swarmed with yet more blows and Ward dropped to his knees, choosing to take a count. He did rise but it was clear that his legs had no weight in them and Tennyson rushed in, landing a massive uppercut in close that forced the referee to catch Ward before he hit the deck.

 

Tennyson (22-2 with 18 KO’s) finds himself ranked #2 with the WBA so it will be interesting to see where his promotional team take him next. He may decide it is too early, at 24, to fight for world honours and choose to defend his newly won titles instead. The Super Featherweight division is full of exciting fights for Tennyson, who upsets the odds and now finds himself with the world at his feet.

 

Early results:

 

Joshua Buatsi continued his impressive rise in the professional ranks as he stopped France’s Stephane Cuevas in the fifth round of a scheduled eight. The left jab couldn’t miss for Buatsi and he was doubling it up with hurtful left hooks to the body of his French opponent. Buatsi works everything from his jab and was crunching stiff body punches in the second stanza before stepping on the gas in the third, a right hand briefly dipping the knees of Cuevas. Buatsi continued his work, breaking the opposition down, and then a plethora of heavy, dangerous looking right hands in the fifth had the Frenchmen seeing stars and prompted the referee to stop the fight. Cuevas was game and in shape for a fight but in levels he found himself below his foe by a considerable distance. Buatsi (6-0 with 4 KO’s) displays patience beyond his years and a cold, cerebral rhythm that will stand him in great stead as he rises the 175lbs rankings. There will be those who question his potential until he is tested properly but he certainly has the talent to trouble anyone, undoubtedly on the domestic scene at the very least. A shot at English or Area titles should definitely be on the agenda next.

 

Luke Campbell took a stay busy fight and dismantled Troy James, forcing the referee to step in at the beginning of the fifth round, scheduled for six. This fight was announced just days ago as Campbell treads water waiting for a shot at a final eliminator for the WBC Lightweight Championship and a chance at redemption over Yvan Mendy, the only man to defeat him as a professional. Campbell (now 18-2 with 15 KO’s) boxed beautifully behind his jab, using his vast reach and height advantage, whilst putting together sharp, crisp and accurate punches that had James down twice before the official halted proceedings. A left uppercut and right hook around the guard put James down in the second whilst a short lead right hand forced him to a knee once more in the fourth stanza. Campbell worked the body well of his slightly out of shape opponent, James weighing in at near Welterweight for a Super Lightweight contest Coventry’s Troy James showed grit and resilience, considering the short notice, but he is not in Campbell’s league and was little more than a fine tuning for the Olympic gold medallist before he once again moves toward a world crown, his first attempt just evaded him last September against Jorge Linares.

 

Newport’s Kody Davies wasted absolutely no time in dispatching of Przemyslaw Gargonin the first of a scheduled four rounds. Davies, trained by former world champion Gavin Rees and backed by Hayemaker Promotions, sank a left into the ribcage of Gargon and rendered him unable to continue. It is unclear as of yet what weight class Davies (now 4-0 with 2 KO’s) will box at full time, he contested this bout around Light Heavyweight but is also capable of hitting Cruiserweight as he did in his amateur days.

 

Jordan Gill made it twenty professional victories without a defeat as he boxed his way to a clear six round victory over Ireland’s Carl McDonald. Gill (20-0 with 4 KO’s) is a terrific talent in a very stacked and competitive Featherweight division. With only four knockouts from twenty wins his power may be questionable but his skills are not, a meeting with stablemate Reece Bellotti could happen later in the year although there are plenty of other names in the mix to test Gill at a higher level.




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