Aaron McKenna aiming to emulate Oscar De La Hoya and win world title at 21


Aaron McKenna [4(3)-0] wants to emulate his promoter by becoming a world champion by the time he gets the key to his hall door.

The Monaghan teen hasn’t taken baby steps since turning over and will bid to make it five wins in eight months tomorrow night in Hollywood.

It seems Ireland’s youngest pro is also one of Ireland’s busiest and, should the 19-year-old keep progressing at this rate, he believes he could win a world title by the time he is 21.

It’s a feat McKenna’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, achieved when beating Jimmi Bredahl for the WBO super featherweight world title in 1994.

‘The Golden Boy’ won Olympic gold in 1992 and won pro world honours in just his twelfth fight after just 21 years, a month, and a day on this Earth.

McKenna, who turned 19 last month, admits performance levels rather than number of fights will determine whether or not he achieves this goal but believes banking wins so young can only help his cause.

“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,” he told Irish-boxing.com.

“It’s exciting to know that I could be fighting for titles really soon! Common sense tells me that I should only judge my performances after each and every fight,” he added before stressing the advantages of youth.

“Being so young has its advantages as I really don’t have any understanding of fear and this in turn allows me go for the knockout.”

While the Santa Monica-based Smithborough youngster is enjoying fighting regularly, he does believe things will slow down as he progresses up the rounds ladder.

When it comes time to progress to six and eight rounders the tests will become harder and McKenna suggests he may need fight-specific camps.

“I like to stay very busy. Golden Boy are very keen to fight me as much as possible and move me along accordingly as to my development. My fights so far have been four rounders and were a nice introduction to the pro game.”

“When I move to six and eight rounds of course things will move slower so that I can develop my skills in the gym. I’m learning all the time in the gym and of course on my fight nights.”

Mexican Rolando Mendivil, who McKenna fights tomorrow, does represent a solid test but the Golden Boy prospect is confident he has put in the kind of work that will have him ready to impress. 

“I am fighting a experienced guy with 14 fights this time. This will be a good test for me and I am really looking forward to the challenge.”

“For this fight I had a eight week training camp and everything has gone really well. I was getting top class sparring three times a week with Sergey Lipinets, Lenny Zappavigna, and Fabian Maidana.”

“Throughout the camp we worked on everything making improvements on my power, speed and upper body movement. We also concentrated on taking full advantage of my height and long reach during sparring sessions.”

Possibly the most stand out thing about McKenna’s wins to date has the been the manner in which they have come.

The baby faced ‘Silencer’ has shown impressive power and has looked physically imposing despite his tender years.

The man strength advocates are adamant that power will improve in years to come but McKenna claims he is getting stronger month on month.

“My power is going to improve a lot more over the next few months as I am working hard on my strength in the gym. I feel a lot stronger for this fight and am hitting even harder than before in previous fights.”

“As I get older I can certainly say that I will develop into a big puncher, no doubt.”

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