James Tennyson moves to lightweight for Ulster Hall spectacular

James Tennyson has moved up to lightweight to take on undefeated Gary Neale
Andy Watters

PROFESSIONAL boxing returns to the atmospheric Ulster Hall for the first time in seven years with Saturday’s ‘A night to remember’ headlined by James Tennyson’s first fight at lightweight.

The former IBF super-featherweight challenger tops a quality bill that opens with Mathew Fitzsimons taking on Alec Bazza and also includes Tommy McCarthy, titlists Paul Hyland jnr and Luke Wilton, Feargal McCrory versus Kevin Kelly for the Irish lightweight title and Cathy McAleer.

Tennyson hopes to get straight back into the title mix but he has been handed a tough comeback contest when he takes on a live contender in undefeated (10-0) Garry Neale of Portsmouth over 10 rounds up at lightweight. Neale will certainly come to win.

The chief support sees the Coalisland’s undefeated rising star ‘Fearless’ Feargal McCrory face-off against Karl Kelly of Dublin when they clash for the vacant Boxing Union of Ireland lightweight title, also over 10 rounds.

Former undefeated IBF European Lightweight Champion and British title challenger Paul Hyland jnr goes for his 20th win in 21 contests in a 50/50 contest with the talented Miroslav Servan (10-1), the current super-lightweight champion of the Czech Republic over eight rounds.

Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy is looking to impress and push on for titles should he come through his test with Czech tough guy Jiri Svacina in a must win exciting eight round contest.

Former kick boxing and karate world champion Cathy McAleer brings women’s professional boxing back to the Ulster Hall for the first time in 19 years when she faces Poland’s teak tough Sonia Klos over four rounds.

Luke Wilton, a former British and Commonwealth title challenger, continues his comeback over six rounds as he takes on Patrik Bartos of the Czech Republic.

Mathew Fitzsimons and Alec Bazza square of in an all Belfast derby over four rounds in the super featherweight division.

“This really is a cracking event we have delivered, four of the seven boxers are all in the current British top 10 and will all returning to TV in major titles in the coming months, the response to the show has been incredible,” said Mark Dunlop.

The last remaining tickets are available at

Running Order, doors open 6pm, first fight 6.30pm

4x3 Super Featherweight: Mathew Fitzsimons v Alec Bazza

6x3 Super Flyweight: Luke Wilton v Patrik Bartos

4x2 Super Flyweight: Cathy McAleer v Sonia Klos

8x3 Cruiserweight: Tommy McCarthy v Jiri Svacina

8x3 Lightweight: Paul Hyland Jnr v Miroslav Serban

Boxing Union of Ireland vacant Lightweight Title: Feargal McCrory v Karl Kelly

10x3 Lightweight: James Tennyson v Garry Neale

THERE is nothing agricultural about Tevin Farmer and the slick switch-hitter from the mean streets of Philadephia has warned trash-talking Dubliner Jono Carroll that he intends to “beat him up real bad” at Philly’s Liacouras Center on Friday March 15, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Farmer, who saw off a brave challenge from James Tennyson in Boston in October last year, defends his title for the third time against Carroll.

It’s a first world title fight for the ‘American Idol’ on his home patch which is something that the 28-year-old could not see coming in the summer of 2017 when his career was threatened after he was shot in the hand.

When Farmer did return to action, it was in his first world title clash in Las Vegas in December 2017, and was on the receiving end of a controversial defeat to Kenichi Ogawa, who later failed a drugs test.

The Philly ace would not be deterred though, and landed the IBF strap in Australia in August against Billy Dib and after joining forces with Matchroom Boxing USA and DAZN along with his long time promoter Lou DiBella and DiBella Entertainment, Farmer is reveling in his status as one of the most active champions and promises to put his brash Irish opponent to the sword on St Patrick’s weekend.

“I've improved mentally and physically over recent years, my story has been crazy and it's only getting better,” said Farmer.

“I'm defending my title every couple of months, I don't know another champion out there that is as active as me - four World title fights in seven months, it's incredible.

“He's been talking crazy so I picked him, because I want to see what he's really working with - let's give him the opportunity to become champion of the World, let's see if he can back it up, because you know that I am going to bring it in Philly.

“He got this fight because I chose him. Nothing else. Listen, all that sad story about what he’s done, he’s not going to convince Philly. They are with me. I am going to beat him up real bad, right in front of all of Philadelphia.

“He got on Twitter and called me cocky. I’m not. I am going to beat his ass anyway. After I beat him, I’ll take him for cheesesteaks. Not Pat’s, Geno’s and all that either. I’m going to take him to the Papi spot. That’s the best spot.

“If you don’t know me, I am Tevin Farmer. I am a real Philly fighter. I came from nothing and I owe it all to my team.

“This year I am looking to fight four or five times, maybe six if I can. I want to go down as one of the best to ever do it and 2019 is going to be a huge year for me.”

Also on the bill are Katie Taylor, who looks to unify her IBF and WBA Lightweight crowns against WBO champ Rose Volante, and Ireland’s Olympic silver medalist John Joe Nevin.

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