The Monaghan teen returns to ESPN and TV screens in a Fantasy Springs-hosted clash with Abel Reyes tonight in a bout that should increase his profile.
However, it seems to be the move to six rounds that has the mild-mannered prospect excited.
The Golden Boy welter hopes to fight for titles before 2019 is done and believes putting four rounders in his rear view mirror is a step toward achieving that.
‘The Silencer’, a fit and strong fighter, also believes the longer round format will better allow him to showcase his talents.
“This is my first six rounder so I am going to show everyone what I can do since I’ve more time,” he said on ESPN.
“I think the more rounds that go on, the better I get. The more rounds suits me and I just can’t wait to get up that ladder and be fighting in eight and ten rounder and hopefully this time next year I will be fighting for belts and then, the following year, I will be fighting for a world title.”
It’s a big goal for the Ulster youngster, a former top underage amateur, but a 2020 world title fight has always been the goal for McKenna.
Earlier this year he told Irish-Boxing.com that “my team will have a input in how fast or slow that I progress. I am confident that I can be a world champion by the time I’m 21!”
Abel Reyes is another decent early test for the 19-year-old Smithborough slugger.
Like McKenna, the Mexican comes to ring after five fights and with four knockouts to his name – one more than the welterweight prospect.
Unlike McKenna, 24-year-old Reyes has tasted defeat having been stopped by Fernando Mata Navarro and while his the level of opposition he has faced isn’t quite comparable to the Sheer Sports fighter, he has proved he can bang and will come to the ring confident he can test the chin of the Irish puncher. As a result McKenna has trained accordingly.
“It’s unbelievable to be boxing on ESPN and getting that exposure again,” he said.
“I am just really looking forward to this fight. I put in a really good training camp where I did over 168 rounds of sparring, so I am not taking this opponent lightly. I’m just looking forward to getting in there.”