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6 potential new opponents for Tyrone McKenna following Tommy Coyle withdrawal

Bad news emerged over the weekend, with Hull light welterweight Tommy Coyle being forced to pull out of his fight on the big Belfast card next week.

Coyle was due to box Lenadoon southpaw Tyrone McKenna [15(6)-0-1] in one of the chief support bouts on the Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov undercard at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday October 21st.

However, persistent hand injuries have seen the entertaining slugger forced to pull out.

‘The Mighty Celt’ McKenna remains on the card, and efforts are currently being made to find a top domestic opponent for him to face on the Sky Sports show.

Today Irish-Boxing.com did a little look around some of the big names in the divisino

McKenna is placed at #21 in BoxRec’s British light welterweight rankings. Looking through the Top 20, there seem to be four potential opponents whose schedules may fit with a big Sky slot next weekend.

1 – Josh Taylor
Fights Miguel Vazquez in world title eliminator on November 11th.

2 – Jack Catterall
Challenges for Tyrone Nurse’s British title on October 21st.

3 – Ricky Burns
Lost to Anthony Crolla on October 7th.

4 – Ohara Davies
Fought just two weeks ago, defeating Tom Farrell on September 30th.

5 – Tyrone Nurse
Defends British title against Jack Catterall on October 21st.

6 – Joe Hughes
Set to fight Johnny Coyle (ranked by Boxrec at welterweight) in a British title eliminator.

7 – Tommy Coyle

8 – Josh Leather
Fights Glenn Foot on November 11th.

9 – Lenny Daws [30(11)-5(0)-2]
Has not fought since his European title loss to Anthony Yigit in February. The former British and EU champion is still in training and is of Wexford descent so a fight in Ireland could appeal to him.

lenny daws

10 – Jason Easton
Fights Josef Zahradnik on November 11th.

11 – Robbie Davies Jnr
Defeated in July by Michal Syrowatka. Unlikely to make return in short-notice big fight.

12 – Akeem Ennis Brown [10(1)-0]
An MTK stablemate of McKenna and a possibility here. The reigning English champion fought last month in a six rounder and is extremely highly-rated.

akeem ennis brown

13 – Glenn Foot
Fights Josh Leather on November 11th

14 – Adam Little [18(6)-2(0)]
The former English welterweight champion returned last month with a stoppage win over Reece MacMillan on the Callum Smith v Eric Skogland undercard – and stayed in training afterwards to help Anthony Crolla prepare for the Ricky Burns fight. The Neil Marsh-managed fighter could fit in.

adam little

15 – Chris Jenkins [18(8)-2(0)-1]
A big possibility and the highest profile available opponent in the Top 20. Currently scheduled to box in a six-rounder in his native Swansea on October 21st but surely flexible if a big TV fight is on the line. Had agreed to fight McKenna during the Summer but fight date clashed with a family holiday. The former Prizefighter champion and British title challenger has Irish previous having been edged out by Phil Sutcliffe last year.


16 Philip Bowes
Returning from an English title loss to Glenn Foot and set to fight at the York Hall in an eight rounder this weekend.

17 Willie Limond
Has not fought since last year

18 – Tom Farrell
Lost to Ohara Davies on September 30th

19 – Mitchell Smith
Intends to fight at super featherweight

20 Dave Ryan
Has not fought since last year.

However, the opponents that perhaps most appeal are two that are closer to home.

McKenna’s MTK stablemates Phil Sutcliffe Jr and Anto Upton would both make for brilliant fights – and fights which have been mooted over the past year.

Dubliner Sutcliffe [13(8)-2(1)] has not fought since his controversial stoppage loss to Josh Leather back in May. The Crumlin puncher has tipped away over the Summer and is not averse to taking a short notice fight. Voted the all-Irish fight that fans want to see in 2017 in a poll ran earlier this year, it seems a perfect fit.

phil sutcliffe

Then there is Upton [15(6)-1(0)]. The Belfast light welter put on a brilliant performance last month, stopping Innocent Anyanwu in the sixth round. Afterwards he called for a fight with the winner of McKenna v Coyle. Now with the Hull man out, it could be time for Upton to step up into the breach.

anto upton


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie