James Tennyson wastes little time in knock-out win

Belfast fighter James Tennyson with his Kronk trainer Tony Dunlop. Picture by Hugh Russell.

BELFAST lightweight James Tennyson moved a step closer to a British title challenge with a second round knock-out destruction of Atif Shafiq at the O2 Arena in London at the weekend.

The Belfast Kronk fighter wasted little time in establishing his title credentials and securing the World Boxing Association International lightweight belt.

Tennyson went to town in the second round, Shafiq (21-3) soon rattled by a barrage of big hitting from the west Belfast man.

Tennyson's power backed his experienced Rotherham opponent onto the ropes before a crunching left hook dropped Shafiq on to the canvas and out of the contest.

Referee Howard John Foster quickly waved an end to the fight.

"I just had to be patient," said 26-year-old Tennyson, whose record moves up to 25-3.

"Super-featherweight days are long gone, I made the weight comfortably and felt good," he told Sky Sports.

Poleglass man Tennyson is clearly back on title track, having stopped all three of his opponents since moving up from super-feather following his International Boxing Federation World title loss to Philadelphia's Tevin Farmer in October last year.

One possible title target for Tennyson is Welsh champion Joe Cordina, who successfully defended his British and Commonwealth lightweight titles against Gavin Gwynne on the London fight night bill.

Cordina (27) defeated fellow Welshman Gwynne on the three judges scorecards, 116-110, 116-110, 116-111, a win which could now earn him a European title shot.

Cordina claimed the British crown in April, when he beat 'The KO Kid', Andy Townend.

Luke Campbell’s world title rumble with pound-for-pound king Vasily Lomanchenko topped the bill at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.

The Hull southpaw's brave bid to topple Vasyl Lomachenko ended in heartache as the Ukrainian retained his WBA and WBO lightweight titles and scooped the vacant WBC crown with a clinical performance.

Campbell was knocked down in the 11th round and, in the end, was grateful for the final bell as he dropped a unanimous decision, all three juding going against him 119-108, 119-108 and 118-109.

While the judges' scorecards were arguably a little harsh on the Hull fighter, Lomachenko underlined just why he is regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet as he took another step towards becoming the undisputed champion in the 135lb division.

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