James Tennyson says he has taken “confidence” from Johnny Nelson’s belief in him to beat two division world champion Gervonta Davis and insists he would back himself to beat any lightweight in the world.
Tennyson knocked out Josh O’Reilly inside a round in December in a WBA eliminator, registering a sixth consecutive knockout win since moving up to 135lbs.
Former cruiserweight world champion and Sky Sports pundit, Nelson backed the Belfast man to stop WBA titlist Gervonta Davis if they were to meet and Tennyson says he has gained further confidence from hearing his comments.
“Hearing comments like that from the likes of Johnny Nelson, I must be doing something right,” Tennyson told Pro Boxing Fans.
“It’s good to hear, it’s good for confidence, obviously he pressed a few buttons with social media and the thing blew up, but it’s comments like that, that could really land me a big fight with the likes of Gervonta Davis.
“I just take the comments on board and add it to my confidence.”
Tennyson is in a red-hot division with Teofimo Lopez holding the WBA ‘Super’, IBF, WBO and WBC ‘Franchise’ belts, WBC champion Devin Haney, WBC interim-champion Ryan Garcia and the aforementioned, ‘Tank’ Davis who holds the WBA ‘regular’ title.
Promoter Eddie Hearn named three-weight world champion Jorge Linares as a potential opponent in Belfast and the 27-year-old is confident he could trouble anyone in the division.
“I’d fancy trading it with any of them at the minute,” Tennyson added.
“I’d be confident I would give a great account of myself, they’re winnable fights for me I’d say, very winnable.
“It’s just a matter of getting my opportunity and putting myself in the position to be able to fight with them guys.
“For me I wouldn’t say I have a preference but Jorge Linares, he was what three-weight world champion, big name, I’d love to be sharing the ring with names like that.”
“But, as I say I just leave the work in the background down to my team, they’ll just sort of say to me, ‘right you’ll be looking at this, with this date’ and I just say, ‘no problem, get it on.
“So, like I say hopefully all being well this year, we’ll hopefully have a show with a big name like that in front of me.”