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Belfast boxers Tennyson and Hyland aims for major titles


By David Kelly

James Tennyson and Paul Hyland grabbed their opportunities to bolster demands for major title opportunities with two impressive victories on the supporting bill at the SSE Arena on Saturday night.

Promoter Eddie Hearn says he will now plot the way ahead for both Belfast men to box for either British or Commonwealth super-featherweight and lightweight titles on his next Belfast show to be headed by new IBF World bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett.

Tennyson came through some tough moments with Ryan Doyle before winning at the end of the sixth round when the English champion's corner pulled him out.

"It was nip and tuck all the way through. I knew that he was going to be my toughest opponent yet and I came through it," said Tennyson, who suffered a broken right hand on his way to lifting the WBA international title.

Promoter Hearn said: "That was a great win for James and now we can look at him fighting for the British title. Anthony Cacace faces Martin Ward and what a fight for Belfast if Cacace wins and then faces Tennyson. But if Ward wins, which I think he will, then he will vacate and I don't see why Tennyson couldn't fight for the vacant belt."

Lightweight Hyland surprised everyone, including Kent's Adam Dingsdale when winning with first round stoppage in their IBF European title fight. Flashing hooks had Dingsdale on the canvas and a further blitz sent him to the floor again with a sickening thump, the referee calling a halt after just 109 seconds.

"My gameplan was to push him back but I caught him early and took him out," said Hyland.

"I'd trained hard and prepared for 12 tough rounds at full pace. I knew once I hit him I could finish it. I want to fight for titles and I'll take anyone on."

Hearn also said the performance of Fergal McCrory caught his attention, the Coalisland man stopping Paul Holt in the second round.

"I thought McCrory looked very good, I think he can be pushed on and he sells a load of tickets," said Hearn.

Belfast's Paddy Gallagher stopped Scotland's Craig Kelly out in the third round. Kelly was dropped in round two and three times from body shots in the third.

Other results: featherweight: Tyrone McCullagh bt Jose Aguilar 40-36; welterweight: Matthew Wilton bt William Warburton 60-54; light-heavyweight: Padraig McCrory bt Jacob Lucas 40-35; featherweight: Sean Magee bt Jules Phillips rsc1.

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