James Tennyson: Belfast man now number one contender for WBA title

James Tennyson lands a body shot on Martin J Ward in their contest in May
James Tennyson stopped Martin J Ward to win the European and Commonwealth titles in May

Belfast boxer James Tennyson has moved a step closer to a world title fight after being installed as the WBA's number one contender for its super-featherweight belt.

Tennyson, 24, landed the European and Commonwealth titles in May after getting up off the floor to stop Martin J Ward in five rounds in London.

That win has led to him moving up from two to one in the WBA rankings.

Tennyson is expected to make a voluntary defence of his European belt.

The Belfast man will hope that fight, likely to be against France's Samir Ziani, will be his final contest before a world title challenge.

Ziani, who has a career record of 28 wins, one draw and three defeats, lost a European title challenge against compatriot Guillaume Frenois in November 2016.

The USA's Gervonta Davis is the WBA's super champion, having also held the IBF belt before vacating that title, while Puerto Rico's Alberto Machado is the WBA's regular champion.

Tennyson, who turned professional at the age of 18, has won 22 of his 24 fights.

The Northern Irish boxer has won his last six contests since being stopped by Ryan Walsh in a British featherweight title fight in April 2016.

Tennyson handed Ward the first defeat of his career in the May contest at London's O2 after recovering from being floored in the second round to earn a stoppage win.

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