Chisora vs Parker: James Tennyson battles Jovanni Straffon for IBO lightweight belt on May 1 bill

James Tennyson wants to entice the world’s best lightweights into a showdown by defeating Jovanni Straffon in their IBO title fight on the Chisora vs Parker bill.

The Belfast man enhanced his reputation in the red-hot 135lbs division by taking out Josh O’Reilly in the opening round in December and will target the vacant IBO title on May 1, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

But Mexico’s Straffon, with 23 victories and just three defeats, stands in the way of Tennyson’s plans to hunt down stellar names such as Teofimo Lopez, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis.

“Winning the IBO world title will be a dream come true for me,” said Tennyson. “I have worked my whole life for this moment.

“This is my big opportunity to complete my collection of belts. I’ve won British, Commonwealth, European and two WBA titles. All that’s missing is a world title.


“The other guys holding belts at lightweight haven’t been putting their belts on the line against each other. Winning the IBO will hopefully dangle a carrot in front of the other world champions and entice them into a big unification fight.

“I’m expecting a tough fight, Mexicans are well known for their toughness. I’ll have to bring my A-game.”

“I’ve been working hard for many years to get a fight like this,” said Straffon. “I will not waste it. I will go up in the ring thinking about my two little daughters and how I need to win this for them.

“Maybe if I win, Eddie Hearn will want to work with me and my team in the future.”

In the main event, Derek Chisora and Joseph Parker collide in a huge heavyweight clash, while Irish star Katie Taylor also defends her undisputed world lightweight titles against former amateur rival Natasha Jonas.

Unbeaten champion Dmitry Bivol defends his WBA light-heavyweight title against Craig Richards, and Chris Eubank Jr makes his long-awaited return against Marcus Morrison.

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