The Monaghan teenager was courted by Oscar De La Hoya’s outfit for over a year. Many trips over to L.A. were made and he finally signed on the dotted line last Autumn.
Then there was his debut. First, he was given the chance to headline on the massive Miguel Cotto farewell card in New York last December but saw this scuppered due to issues with his opponent. However, McKenna was handed a fight the very next week in Las Vegas.
Now, in just his second professional contest, the 18-year-old welterweight will feature coast-to-coast in a televised contest on basic U.S. cable.
McKenna [1(0)-0] boxes in his second fight tomorrow night [Friday March 9th] at The Hangar in Los Angeles on a Golden Boy on ESPN card headlined by super bantamweights Ronny Rios and Azat Hovhannisyan.
The Old School BC graduate’s fight has been picked for TV by Golden Boy and, when asked by Irish-Boxing.com if it feels like a vote of confidence from the promotional giants, he said that “it sure does!”
“To be on ESPN in only my second fight shows that Golden Boy have faith in me and I will do my best to put on a show for the boxing public. What an opportunity to showcase my talents and I don’t intend to disappoint.”
The former amateur stand-out, who won European Schoolboy gold and European Junior silver, has relocated to Los Angeles for his pro career and has been working under coach Courage Tshabalala.
McKenna can already see himself improving since his debut win over Travis Conley, and noted how “I certainly feel a lot more relaxed.”
“My debut in Vegas was definitely some experience and it’s great to get a win under your belt. For this fight I have had a great eight-week training camp and I feel I have improved over this past two months.
“I’m looking to come into this fight with added improved power. My team have been working a lot on my strength and conditioning. I certainly feel I am hitting a lot harder this time around.”
“The top quality sparring I have had this time around has also brought me on quite considerably.”
Camp this time has seen McKenna joined out on the U.S. West Coast by his older brother Stevie, a decorated amateur himself.
The lightweight, who won the 2016 Elite Senior title at light fly, has been a positive reminder of home for McKenna who admitted that “Stevie was a great help to me with my preparation during this camp.
“We have been training together this past 12 years. Hopefully he will be around for many more training camps to come.”
“He loves it out here and has also made quite an impression when sparring around the L.A. gyms here!”
Tomorrow night McKenna will be faced by rugged Mexican Adolpho Caro [0-1(1)], however ‘The Silencer’ can’t say much on what he will be up against.
The Smithborough teen explained how “all I know is that he has had 1 fight and is from Mexico!”
“I’m expecting him to be tough and will most likely come to fight aggressively like most Mexicans do.”
“I am hoping it will be an exciting fight for the fans that it will bring the best out in me!”