The Belfast light welter was due to box British title challenger Tommy Coyle over ten rounds on the big Matchroom bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday October 21st.
Unfortunately it emerged over the weekend that Hull’s Coyle had withdrawn from the bout due to a recurrence of a right hand injury.
The pull-out led to a mad dash to find a new opponent for The Mighty Celt and, with domestic avenues exhausted, McKenna has had to look at Continental European opposition.
It has been confirmed today that McKenna will box Frenchman Renald Garrido [19(3)-16(0)-2] in just over a week’s time.
While Garrido’s record is not easy on the eye, ‘Lion Heart’ has some major wins. He has taken the unbeaten records of Bradley Saunders and Olympic silver medalist Daouda Sow, and during the Summer drew with highly-rated Turk Faith Keles for the WBO European trinket.
Earlier this year he was edged out by Frankie Gavin and once floored Robbie Davies Jr, as well as losing a number of majority and split decisions as the ‘away’ fighter, including for the French title.
Garrido also has Belfast previous on a big Sky card, having been outpointed over eight by Martin Lindsay on the McCloskey-Perez undercard at the Odyssey in September 2012.
While the fight may not be as glamorous as Tommy Coyle, it remains an extremely tough test for McKenna and seemingly the best available considering the notice.
The card next week is headlined by a IBF-WBA unification between Ryan Burnett and Zhanat Zhakiyanov, and also features Paul Hyland Jr v Stephen Ormond, James Tennyson v Darren Traynor, Feargal McCrory, Gary Cully, Davey Oliver Joyce, Tommy McCarthy, Anthony Fowler, and Josh Kelly.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)