Saunders vs. Andrade undercard taking shape
By Tim Royner: International Boxing Federation super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer vs. James Tennyson has been added to the Billy Joe Saunders vs. Demetrius Andrade card on DAZN on October 20 at TD Garden in Boston, Mass. Farmer (26-4-1, 5 KOs) won the vacant IBF 130 pound title earlier this month in beating Billy Dib by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on August 3 in Australia.
Farmer, 28, is signing a co-promotional deal with Eddie Hearn to have his fights streamed on DAZN in the United States. Farmer is already signed with Lou DiBella. According to ESPN, Farmer will be getting well-paid to have his fights streamed on DAZN. However, Farmer isn’t well-known with the casual boxing fans in the States, so it’s unclear how much of a lure he’ll be to the average fan to want try and get them to pay $10 per month to subscribe to DAZN to watch Hearn’s boxing cards.
“Tevin wanted to be an active champion and fight as often as possible and the deal we were able to work out with Eddie was very favorable to Tevin’s career,” DiBella said to ESPN.com. “Tennyson will make for an interesting clash of styles. He’s a big puncher, Tevin is a supreme boxer. It should be a fun fight.”
Unfortunately, Farmer vs. Tennyson is a gross mismatch on paper. It’s a fight that will make Farmer look good at the expense of a guy that has no business being inside the ring with him. To get a good idea what kind of fighter Tennyson is all you’ve got to do is look at the guys he’s lost to during his career. In 2013, Tennyson was stopped in the 2nd round by journeyman Pavels Senkovcs (2-64-5). In 2016, Tennyson was knocked out in the 5th round by Ryan Walsh (22-2-2, 11 KOs). Tennyson has won his last six fights. In his last fight, he defeated Martin Ward by a 5th round knockout to capture the EBU super featherweight title on May 5. Hearn adding Ireland’s Tennyson to the Saunders vs. Andrade card appears to be an effort to attract interest from Irish boxing fans that live in Boston. Farmer-Tennyson being on the undercard may fail to attract boxing fans in high numbers to see the fight.
#11 IBF Tennyson (22-2, 18 KOs) is an odd choice for Farmer to be fighting, as he’s not someone that will interest the U.S boxing fans that will be potentially subscribing to DAZN for $10 per month. To lure American fans, Farmer needs to be matched against better opposition like former super featherweight world champion Francisco Vargas, Rene Alvarado, Orlando Salido, Jason Sosa, Miguel Roman, Edner Cherry, Denis Shafikov, Jezreel Corrales, Ryan Garcia, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Jhonny Gonzlez or Robinson Castellanos.
Andrade’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing USA is still working on putting together the undercard for the Saunders-Andrade card on October 20. Hearn recently signed an eight-year deal with DAZN.
Another fight Hearn is adding to the Saunders vs. Andrade card is unbeaten featherweight contender Kid Galahad (24-0, 15 KOs) vs. Toka Kahn Clary (25-1, 17 KOs) in an IBF 126 pound tile eliminator.
The undercard fights for the Saunders vs. Andrade card are as follows:
Tevin Farmer vs. James Tennyson
Kid Galahad vs. Toka Kahn Clary
Katie Taylor vs. Cindy Serrano
Scott Quigg vs. TBA
Former WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg (34-2-2, 25 KOs) will be facing an opponent still to be determined. The 29-year-old Quigg is coming off of a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss to WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez on March 10 in Carson, California. It was a punishing fight for both fighters. Quigg suffered a broken nose and a bad cut under his left eye in the fight. For his part, Valdez suffered a broken jaw, which required surgery to repair. Quigg will likely be matched against a weaker opponent, given how brutal his fight with Valdez was. Being stashed away on the undercard of Saunders-Andrade, the money likely won’t be there for Quigg to be matched against a quality fighter. If October rolls around and Quigg’s opponent still hasn’t been determined, you can bet that it’ll be a woefully poor fighter that is dragged into the ring for him to demolish and look good against.
The Saunders-Andrade fight will give Hearn a good chance to see whether he got his money’s worth in inking former WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) to his Matchroom Boxing USA stable. If Andrade beats Saunders, it would be a tremendous shot in the arm for Hearn with his DAZN deal, because it would increase the chances of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin facing him. Golovkin wants the WBO middleweight title in the worst way. If Andrade can win the belt, then Hearn has a chance of making a fight between him and Golovkin for DAZN depending on the negotiations. Without the WBO title, Andrade will be waiting a long time before he gets someone like Golovkin to fight him. Hearn was able to get Saunders to fight Andrade on DAZN, which was a good move for him. Andrade vs. Saunders is a good fight, but it’s not one that will likely attract a lot of U.S boxing fans to pay to see it on DAZN. But as the saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ If Hearn truly has eight years with his DAZN deal, then he has plenty of time to slowly increase the subscribers to DAZN. But if theirs is an opt out for DAZN after two years, which some boxing fans believe, then it’s imperative that Hearn bring in the subscribers straightaway.
Andrade is coming into the Saunders fight having been out of the ring for an entire year. That’s not good for Andrade to be that inactive going into a hard fight against a clever boxer like Saunders. To win a fight like that, Andrade is going to need to be as sharp as possible, and it’s unclear whether he’s going to be ready to take on a fighter in Saunders’ class coming off that kind of a layoff. 2008 U.S Olympian Andrade has accomplished a lot in winning two world titles at 154 during his 10-year pro career, but he’s frequently been inactive for long stretches in the last four years.