By Chris Williamson
O2 Arena, London - Twenty-four year old Northern Irishman James Tennyson sensationally won the European and Commonwealth super-featherweight titles with a fifth round stoppage of Martin J Ward in a barnburner at London’s O2 arena.
Tennyson lost a British Featherweight title crack two years ago against Ryan Walsh but had been on a five fight winning streak coming into this challenge.
Ward started strongly and a beautiful left hook to the body at the end of the second floored Tennyson. Ward pressurised his man with the left hook in particular hurting Tennyson, the Northern Irishman’s nose bloodied by the third stanza.
The fourth round marked a shift in fortunes as a superbly timed right uppercut sent blood flying from the mouth of Ward.
The thrilling battle was all over in the fifth as a combination from Tennyson, punctuated by a right uppercut finished with Ward slumped on the canvas and referee Victor Loughlan waved the contest off at 2.24 of the fifth round.
Promoter Eddie Hearn described the win as “massive” and with Tennyson (now 22-2) ranked number 2 with the WBA the future looks bright for the young Belfast man.
Lightweight contender Luke Campbell boxed a useful tune up against the brave Troy James, stopping his man in the fifth round .
The southpaw former Olympic gold medal winner Campbell was having his first bout since a creditable decision loss to Jorge Linares in a world title challenge last September and hurt the squat but much heavier James repeatedly with left hand body shots, one of which floored the Coventry man at the end of round two.
A short right hook in fourth floored James before the referee decided he’d taken enough punishment, waving it off at two minutes and eighteen seconds into round five. Campbell is highly ranked with both the WBC and WBA and is likely to move onto an eliminator or world title shot later in the summer.
Young Welsh southpaw light-heavyweight Kody Davies beat heavily tattooed Przemeyslaw Gorgon, knocking the Pole out with a body shot at the end of the first round.
Unbeaten super featherweight Jordan Gill kicked off the big Bellew vs Haye II show with a six round decision win over Dubliner Carl McDonald. The referee scored it 60-54 and Gill, now 20-0 is likely to target some more meaningful matches.