Boxing

Joe Fitzpatrick added to James Tennyson comeback bill

James Tennyson takes on unbeaten Gary Neale at The Ulster Hall on February 9
Andy Watters

JAMES Tennyson returns to action against unbeaten Gary Neale at the Ulster Hall on February 9.

Tennyson, who lost to slick Philadelphian IBF world super-featherweight champion Tevin Farmer at Boston's TD Garden in October, is anxious to return to elite level this year and a win in next month's test will set him on the way to an exciting 2019.

First up is Portsmouth southpaw Neale, a former England amateur standout who represented his country at youth level who will travel to Belfast with a 10-0 record determined to take the scalp of Poleglass native Tennyson.

“He knows a victory over James will guarantee him a straight shot at one of the current British, Commonwealth or European lightweight champions,” said MHD Promotions chief Mark Dunlop.

“James was back in the gym less than four weeks after the Farmer fight and he knows that defeat against Neale would be disastrous for his career at this stage.”

Victory against Neale could set up an intriguing battle at the end of March between Dundee's Clarke (also managed and promoted by MHD) who is the reigning IBF European Super-Featherweight champion. However, Clark will fight Sam Bowen for the British title on February 23 in Leicester.

“The Commonwealth Boxing Council has granted Tennyson an ‘out of weight' comeback fight with Neale but the stakes have just got a lot higher for the Ulster Hall fight,” Dunlop added.

Meanwhile, Joe Fitzpatrick will take on Stephen Webb over six rounds on the undercard of Tennyson-Neale.

Fitzpatrick had, by his own admission, fallen out of love with boxing and hasn't fought in over a year but the spark has been reignited by new trainer Sean McCullagh and the Divis lightweight – a former Commonwealth Games silver medallist – is looking forward to the derby battle with Webb.

The remainder of the bill includes Paul Hyland jnr, Tommy McCarthy, Feargal McCrory, Cathy McAleer, Luke Wilton and Mathew Fitzsimons.

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