Boxing

Is Tevin Farmer overlooking James Tennyson?

James Tennyson takes on Tevin Farmer for the IBF super-featherweight title in Boston this weekend
From Andy Watters in Boston

TEVIN Farmer makes no bones about it – he wants to fight Gervonta Davis next – and, while he says he's not overlooking James Tennyson, you can tell that he is.

Maybe that will be his downfall on Saturday night?

Now 28, Philadelphian Farmer (26-4-1, with five early wins) makes the first defence of the IBF super-featherweight he won in convincing fashion in August after flooring Australian Billy Dib in the ninth round of their clash in Sydney en-route to a landslide points win.

It is understood that Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing have paid top dollar to make his fight with Tennyson happen. Matchroom had invested heavily in Martin J Ward and Tennyson beat him emphatically in May and a win for the Belfast man could set up a Matchroom bill featuring Katie Taylor and Ryan Burnett next year.

Farmer is totally convinced that won't happen. He intends to deal with the ‘Assassin' before moving on to a meeting with Davis, AKA ‘Tank'.

“It's beautiful to have this support and backing now from Lou (DiBella), Eddie and DAZN,” he said.

“We can really talk our stuff now, I've got the big money behind me to make any fight. It feels so good to be told I am going to be busy. Three fights - I can't go four months without fighting, that's great.

“I have a big fight on Saturday and I'm not over-looking James. You don't get to this level for no reason and I know he's going to come to fight and try to beat me, but that's not going to be easy - he needs to make sure he brings his A-game.

“I want to fight Gervonta Davis. I have a title, I have a great contract, so I don't need him - but I have to have that fight. There's been a lot of talking but I am about handling business. We've talked enough, I want the fight so let's make it happen.

“There's no more 'get a title' talk, there's millions of dollars in that fight and it can be made, it's one of the biggest fights in boxing. I don't have to chase anyone, I'm the money out there now, get your ticket and I'll pick it.

“The best want to fight the best and it's got to happen. I am a fighter, that's all I want, let's leave the streets on the streets and do the fighting in the ring.”

Farmer has had to reinvent himself as a slick boxer and he has reached the summit after a tumultuous journey to world title level that included a debut loss followed by further early career defeats.

He was on the wrong end of a controversial decision in his first world title battle with Kenichi Ogawa in December, where his controversial split decision loss was then overturned to a no contest after the Japanese failed a drugs test.

Now ‘American Idol' is in no mood to let it go and he wants a statement victory on Saturday night to lead to a showdown with US rival ‘Tank' Davis.

Also on the bill on Saturday night, Katie Taylor defends her WBA and IBF World Lightweight titles against Argentina's Cindy Serrano.

Rhode Island's Toka Kahn Cleary faces England's Kid Galahad in a final eliminator for the IBF World Featherweight title, and Carl Frampton stablemate Tommy Coyle meets local favourite Ryan Kielczweski over 10 rounds

Former Frampton foe Scott Quigg, now trained by Freddie Roach, returns on the bill after a loss to Oscar Valdez and Kazakhstan's Olympic Games gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov tastes action for the fourth time in the paid ranks.

Kildare heavyweight Niall Kennedy and Sean McComb also feature on an action-packed card at the TD Garden.

BILLY Joe Saunders won't feature after being denied a licence over his failed drug test so Demetrius Andrade takes on the relatively unknown Walter ‘The Executioner' Kautondokwa for the now vacant WBO World title at TD Garden in Boston on Saturday night.

‘Boo Boo' Andrade (25-0) can become a two-weight world champion with victory over 17-0 and big-punching Namibian Kautondokwa who has 16 stoppage wins on his card in his New England backyard.

The 30 year-old who tops a star-studded bill claims to be in the form of his career.

“My situation is great right now,” said Andrade.

“Had I not made the move with Eddie (Hearn), I would have been fighting in England, having tune-ups or waiting around still. I never needed tune-ups. I take every fight very seriously, I have since day one.

“I could have waited around and had tick-overs, instead, this world title chance came along and we're on the road to the top in another division already.”

Andrade believes that the middleweight division is heading for a new golden age.

“I think middleweight can be the new glamour division in boxing,” he said.

“We have big names at 160lbs and if you look at 154lbs, those guys are going to grow and they'll have to come up – look at Jarrett Hurd, he's a big dude. The division is hot and it's going to get hotter.

“If everyone involved with the elite does their jobs, we can make these big fights. The window is starting to close on those fights though, people get old, people move on, and people look to run around and fight lesser guys like the Charlos do.

“I don't look forward to those fights, I want to fight the best - only and often. When I was at 154, I had the belt and couldn't get the big fights. We're all going to make money - so let's decide who is the best, and let's get the elite in with the elite. Don't get in with has-beens or the guys on the way out, get in with the hungry guys.

“I'm at 160lbs to show I am still the biggest and baddest wolf out there, and I'm ready to bite. I am too old to fight nobodies now, I've had that time, I'm not going to fight iron every time,

“When you are fighting lower level opponents you can afford to get in there four or five times a year, but at the level I want to operate at, you can't do that. I'm going to take it one step at a time, do my job against Walter, come home with the belt and we will look to get out early in 2019 - I know Eddie and DAZN want to keep me active and that's great, and if it's going to be the rest of the elite guys, then let's go.”

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