JAMES TENNYSON breathed a sigh of relief when Carl Frampton defeated Scott Quigg. Not just because the featherweight, like Frampton, is a Belfast man but because he had almost wrecked the fight before it’d even happened.

Tennyson was Frampton’s last sparring partner and in the final seconds of their final spar Carl picked up a cut. “15 seconds to go I think it was. I think everyone was on edge, there was panic about the gym,” Tennyson tells Boxing News. “I’m not too sure [how it happened]. The last 15 seconds I think we started trading. I’m not too sure if it was a left uppercut but a left uppercut caught him in the eye. I didn’t even know I’d done it until they went and got their drinks in the corner… He let out quite a loud scream. It was obviously panic, he thought the fight was over. I panicked myself. It would have been bad, the guy’s been in training camp 17 odd weeks. He’s been away from his family. It would all have been for nothing but thankfully they got the eye sorted and he got the job done. Big relief. I would have felt gutted for him,” James said.

The fight had been five years in the making, was on pay-per-view and there was a lot of money at stake. It might have been ruined. “It would have been,” Tennyson said, before adding with some understatement, “That wouldn’t be cool.”

Tennyson is out himself on April 30, challenging British champion Ryan Walsh on the Billy Joe Saunders undercard. “He’s a good fighter. I’m really looking forward to the fight. It’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be explosive,” James promises. “I’ve had 17 fights, 16 wins, one loss. I was actually knocked out, it was in the Odyssey Arena in 2013. I was young, I was pretty immature to be honest and I’d say that loss has probably got me to where I am today. It’s made me stronger mentally and physically and it’s got me here.

“It was 2013, it was early in my career, I was young. I’ve come on leaps and bounds from it. I’ve won the Irish super-featherweight title, I won the Celtic featherweight title and the Celtic featherweight title’s got me here.”