PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - October 20, 2018  
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Story by Frank Bartolini
Photos by David Algranati


Over eighty five hundred fight fans filled the TD Garden, aka Boston Garden, and nearly one thousand of them traveled from Great Britain or Ireland.  The majority of the remaining were “Southies” (Boston residents of Irish descent from the Southside of city).  “Southies” are a group of devout Roman Catholics who take no crap and fanatically support anyone connected to the Emerald Isle.  Most of those in the crowd had surnames such as O’Grady, Malone, McQuade, Sullivan, and so on.              

This was the hostile environment that newly minted IBF junior lightweight champ Tevin Farmer, had to endure when making his first defense against Belfast Ireland citizen James Tennyson.  A native of North Philly, Farmer did not let this distract him from his mission. 

Not long after the first bell chimed, a fired up Tennyson, 130 pounds, began aggressively pursuing Farmer, 129.6 pounds.  This seemed to disrupt Tevin’s rhythm, and when the session ended the crowd, which included Ireland’s own WBO featherweight champ Carl Frampton and the pride of Irish scrappers Conor McGregor, gave their loud approval. Physically bigger and appearing to be stronger, Tennyson, adorned in velvet green trunks, was landing a sneaky right uppercut to Farmers head.  

Signs of what was in store for Tennyson began to surface as the fleet-footed Farmer planted his toes and started scoring quick and accurate combos to the head and dug hard shots to the body.  A precise left to the liver from the southpaw Farmer dropped Tennyson in the fourth.  Continually hurting Tennyson with blows to the gut early in the fifth, Tevin finished off Tennyson with one last laser sharp smack to the liver, leaving the Irishman hitting the deck, on all fours wincing in pain.

Seeing this, referee Arthur Mercante Jr. jumped in and waved things off at 1:21 of the session.  It may have seemed that Mercante pulled the trigger quickly, but the lack of complaint from Tennyson’s staff confirmed that it was the right call.             

Without a doubt, this was the performance of the evening, and considering the volume of world-class boxers on the fight card, it was an honorable accomplishment.  As trainer Chino Rivas unwrapped the Lou DiBella-promoted Farmer’s hands, the amount of attention paid to him by Match Room promoter Eddie Hearn did not go unnoticed.            


Standing in the ring in his furry pink and lime green attire, Farmer thanked his team and went on to say, “I pushed the fighter who was trying to push me back.  I got the belt and I want Gervonta Davis.”                

It has been eighteen months since this author watched the mouthy Gervonta Davis get in Tevin’s face, spewing smack from his lips in the lobby at the MGM Oxen Hill in Maryland.  This took place after a match between Tevin’s stablemate Jason Sosa and Vasyl Lomachenko.  A group of Davis’ friends from DC got their kicks listening to his diatribe.  But who is laughing now that Davis runs around partying at close to a one hundred sixty pounds with his pal Adrian Broner, while Farmer has become the fighter to watch at 130? 

Anyone around the Philly fight scene will tell you that Farmer is always fit and continues to train whether or not he has a scheduled bout.  By showing improved power in his last few outings, the pundits are now making Farmer the favorite against Davis.              

Going home across the “Great Pond”, Tennyson licks his wounds with a 22-3 (18 KOs) mark.  Scheduled to compete again on the Canelo vs. Fielding show at Madison Garden (December 15), Farmer, after defeating his toughest opponent to date, raised his record to 27-4-1 (6 KOs).

Pleasing the fans with their second American promotion, Match Room partnered with Boston-based promoter, Murphy Boxing.  




Frank Bartolini - Boston - October 20, 2018