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Tennyson is ready to push towards big title shot, says Dunlop

On the up: James Tennyson works out in Liverpool with coach Tony Dunlop
On the up: James Tennyson works out in Liverpool with coach Tony Dunlop
David Kelly

By David Kelly

James Tennyson is developing into a major lightweight force, according to coach Tony Dunlop.

Having won European and Commonwealth super-feather honours, Tennyson went on to unsuccessfully challenge for the IBF World title but has moved up a division and is looking stronger than ever.

Tomorrow night in Liverpool's Echo Arena, Tennyson takes on Welshman Craig Evans in a British lightweight title final eliminator, though Dunlop believes he can aim even higher over the next 12 months.

Evans has been the distance in two tough battles with Dubliner Stephen Ormond and many believe that his clash with Tennyson could be the fight of the night on a card headed by WBA super-middleweight champion Callum Smith defending against John Ryder.

Dunlop feels the step up in weight has come at just the right time for Tennyson.

"This is going to be a tough fight, that's what we're expecting, but I'm confident that James will get the win and then we can hopefully see him pushing towards another title shot," said Dunlop.

"James is improving all the time and he is a lot more comfortable at lightweight.

"At super-featherweight he was winning and winning but just when he got to the point of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow it became too tough to make super-feather. He's such a dedicated fighter, I couldn't ask any more of him in the gym.

"This is going to be a good fight because Evans has shown he's a tough guy and he had a good amateur record - he even went the distance with the great Vasyl Lomachenko as an amateur."

•The International Olympic Committee's Boxing Task Force has confirmed that no judges or referees from the tainted Rio 2016 competition will be eligible to officiate in Tokyo next year.

The Task Force was set up in May to oversee the boxing competition at the Tokyo Games, after an IOC vote to suspend the existing governing body, AIBA, over issues of impropriety.

The boxing competition in Rio was tarnished by a series of controversial decisions, including Michael Conlan's defeat to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin.

The Task Force confirmed the scoring will be displayed publicly at the end of each round.

Morinari Watanabe, chair of the IOC Boxing Task Force, said: "It is only fair to the boxers not to change the fundamental competition rules so close to the Olympic qualifiers."

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