UK Boxing: James Tennyson; Joshua Buatsi; Conor Benn

James Tennyson feels he’s above domestic level – and says he’ll prove that on Saturday night when he faces Ryan Doyle for the WBA International Super-Featherweight title at the SSE Arena Belfast, live on Sky Sports.

Tennyson has won Celtic Featherweight and Irish Super-Featherweight titles but fell short when he met Ryan Walsh for the British Featherweight crown last April.

The 23 year old believes he’s better prepared for more title assaults now, and wants to show that in what he believes will be a cracking fight against the English Featherweight champion from Manchester.

“I’m very excited, said Tennyson. “I’m pleased to be a part of the show and hopefully Ryan Burnett becomes Ireland’s next World Champion and these big nights can continue to come back to Belfast.

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“I believe I’m beyond Irish title level. I’m not going to gain or learn much more at that level or by boxing journeyman. I’ve gone through that now. This is a fight that I needed and help bring my career to the next level.

“I’ve watched Ryan and this is going to be a really entertaining match up. With the WBA International title on the line, it gives it a little more spice.

“Usually I don’t look too much into my opponents, I get in there and take it as it comes. I’m confident in my own ability to get the job done. My team already know a bit about the boy so they are telling me the plans which we’ll adopt on the night.

“I’ve prepared for a tough fight no matter what so the late change of opponent doesn’t really change all that much for my planning.

“It’s all work in progress. I want to get to World level. This is a great stepping stone to help get where I want to be.

“I don’t really go in thinking ‘I’m going to knock this guy out’, I like to box. It’s going to be a good fight for the fans to watch. I’m an aggressive, come forward fighter.

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“Camp has gone well. I’m pretty happy going into the last few days. Now it’s all about getting the weight right, all the hard work has been done now. I’m just looking to get this show on the road now.”

Tennyson’s clash with Doyle is part of a huge night of action in Belfast as Ryan Burnett challenges Lee Haskins for the IBF World Bantamweight title.

Paul Hyland Jr faces Adam Dingsdale for his first pro title with the IBF European Lightweight strap on the line, Ian Tims and Luke Watkins meet for the Irish Cruiserweight title, there’s the Cruiserweight debut of Mike Perez, and local favourites Paddy Gallagher, Matthew Wilton, Feargal McCrory and Tyrone McCullagh.

Tickets are on general sale priced at £30, £40, £60 and £100 from the SSE Arena Belfast at http://www.ssearenabelfast.com/belfast-boy-burnett-v-haskins

BUATSI PENS PROMOTIONAL DEAL WITH MATCHROOM BOXING

Team GB Olympic medallist Joshua Buatsi has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing and will make his professional debut at The O2 in London on July 1, live on Sky Sports.

Buatsi picked up bronze in Rio last summer in the Light Heavyweight division and has joined Brazil teammates Lawrence Okolie, Joe Cordina, Josh Kelly and Anthony Fowler in teaming up with Hearn. The Croydon ace, who also picked up bronze in the 2015 European Championships, will be managed by Anthony Joshua’s management team AJ Boxing.

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The 24 year old went back to St. Mary’s University after returning from Rio to complete his degree in Business Management and Sports Science, and now turns his attentions to the paid ranks and cannot wait to get his pro journey underway.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Buatsi. “I got the medal ten months ago but I didn’t just disappear. After coming back from Rio I needed to finish my degree and the get back into the gym. I’ve been in the gym for a few months now, my head is clear, I know what is next. I’ve made the right decision to team up with Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports and I’m so excited for the journey.

“My Mum and Dad wanted me to finish my education, I came back from Rio and had a year left, I didn’t want to turn my back on university. Boxing has always been my plan A and university wasn’t a plan, it was something that I was able to do while boxing – but everything about me is boxing.

“It seems a long time ago that I was an amateur. This is the next stage and there’s competition out there, everyone wants to be number one, we’re all hungry. The pro game is so different from the amateurs, you have to entertain, and it’s not a bed of roses. It’s a brutal sport but I’ve prepared myself physically and mentally for it.

“It’s more of a fight in the pros. Two men fighting with smaller gloves and I think it will suit me, let your hands go, keep your hands up and don’t blink. I know I only have to concentrate on one guy in the pros, not the guy the following day – six rounds to get rid of someone and I know that I will get to them in that time.

“There’s a lot for me to learn but I’m eager and hungry to do just that. I feel I have to prove myself and go and grab everything with both hands, that’s my mentality so let the show begin.”

Hearn plans to box Buatsi all over Britain with eight fights pencilled in for his first year as a pro, and the promoter was delighted to add Buatsi to his stacked roster of Britain’s biggest boxing talents.

“I’m delighted to be promoting Joshua,” said Hearn. “Three and a half years ago we were in the same room on the start of Anthony Joshua’s journey and I feel that we’re at the start of the road for another outstanding talent in Joshua Buatsi.

“Everyone in boxing knows the talent and ability he has and now it’s time to show that to a wider audience.”

Buatsi’s debut is part of a big night of boxing at The O2, topped by Frank Buglioni defending his British Light-Heavyweight title against Ricky Summers.

A packed bill includes Ted Cheeseman challenging Matthew Ryan for the English Super-Welterweight title in an eliminator for the British title, Reece Bellotti looks to build on his impressive British Featherweight title eliminator win over Dai Davies in March, Team GB Rio Olympian Lawrence Okolie on the hunt for a fourth straight first round KO in the paid ranks and features on the bill with his potential Cruiserweight local rival Isaac Chamberlain.

Conor Benn makes a welcome return from injury and there’s action for Southern Area Super-Middleweight champion Craig ‘Spider’ Richards, Super-Middleweight Danny Dignum and Light-Heavyweight Jake Ball.

Tickets are on sale now priced £40 – £100 via www.theo2.co.uk. £150 VIP tickets available exclusively from www.matchroomboxing.com

BENN: YOU’LL SEE A NEW ME AT THE O2

Conor Benn says he’s itching to get back in the ring – and he’ll unleash new skills at The O2 in London on July 1, live on Sky Sports.

Benn has been out of action since moving to 6-0 in December with a fourth KO win since making his debut in April.

The son of British legend Nigel now returns to action in his fourth outing at The O2 and the 20 year old says that he’s been working hard on his craft in his time out, and the fans are in for a treat.

“It feels like forever that I’ve been out. I was used to fighting every month but not fighting has been the best thing that’s happened to me. I’ve had time to work on things, to learn and perfect craft. I was racing through fights and it was more about dealing with the pressure and staying fit.

“Now I have been able to relax and take a step back, work hard on just one aspect, drilling the jab for a week in the gym and then next week looking at switch hitting – and you’ll see that all come into place on July 1 and beyond. I can’t wait to be back in there.

“I was making silly errors in my fights and I don’t need to do that. I had six fights in six months, now I’ve had about six months off, and I’ve learnt just as much, if not more, in my time out of the ring. I’ve got time on my side and I’m in no rush.”

Benn’s return is part of a stacked bill in London topped by Frank Buglioni’s first defence of his British Light-Heavyweight title against Ricky Summers.

Ted Cheeseman challenges Matthew Ryan for the English Super-Welterweight title in an eliminator for the British title, Reece Bellotti looks to build on his impressive British Featherweight title eliminator win over Dai Davies in March, Team GB Rio Olympian Lawrence Okolie on the hunt for a fourth straight first round KO in the paid ranks and features on the bill with his potential Cruiserweight local rival Isaac Chamberlain and there’s action for Southern Area Super-Middleweight champion Craig ‘Spider’ Richards, Super-Middleweight Danny Dignum and Light-Heavyweight Jake Ball.

Tickets go on sale to O2 Priority members at midday tomorrow (June 2) Tickets are priced £40, £60, £100 and £150 VIP.

Tickets also go on sale to Matchroom Fight Pass members at midday tomorrow via www.stubhub.co.uk

Tickets go general sale at midday on general sale on Monday June 5 with tickets priced £40 – £100 via www.theo2.co.uk. £150 VIP tickets available exclusively from www.matchroomboxing.com

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