At just 18, there is an argument that Aaron McKenna is some way off his man strength, but, in terms of power, the Monaghan welter seems to be ahead of his time.
Last week, fighting for the fourth time since turning over in December of last year, the Golden Boy prospect dominated and stopped Darel Harris to make it three knockouts on the trot.
The Los Angeles-based fighter dropped Harris in the second with a left hook and the badly-cut Florida native eventually was pulled out after three rounds.
McKenna admits the win in Santa Monica on a Sugar Leonard Charity Fight Night proved a confidence booster as did his post fight chat with the Hall of Famer.
“He congratulated me and said I was very strong for the weight,” McKenna told Irish-Boxing.com when asked what ‘Sugar Ray’ said to him before admitting he is growing in confidence.
“Its a great feeling to know that you can drop someone with either hand. It was also good to get three rounds under my belt in this fight and still get the early stoppage.”
A regular complaint among new pros is the lack of adventure of their opponents – with many noting that it’s hard to look good against negative fighters with survival as a sole goal.
However, McKenna sees that ‘make the final bell’ approach as a great challenge and one he rose too last Wednesday night.
“I was very happy with my performance. It was a good experience to fight and get a win against a guy that just came to survive. I had to work hard to cut the ring down and close the distance as he was running so much.”
Another thing that may make the Sheer Sports-managed Courage Tshabalala-trained stand out is the volume of fights he has had. There are some a few years older, who point out they are in no rush due to their tender years, but McKenna is keen to be busy and just wants to rack up the wins and learning fights.
“Its fantastic to be fighting so regularly and being kept so active and still only 18. With every fight I am gaining so much experience.”
“By the end of my first year as a pro I could have seven fights under my belt,” he added before point out his hopes for the rest of 2018.
“I want to be kept busy. My aim is to improve with each fight. I am looking forward to fighting in more big fight cards.”