Aaron McKenna explains reasons for turning down Shakiel Thompson
Aaron McKenna [15(8)-0] has told Shakiel Thompson [9(6)-0] not to mistake his desire to move forward as an excuse to run away.
The English prospect fights on the same Manchester AO Arena card as the Monaghan middleweight this coming Saturday night and has spent fight week telling the press he wants a McKenna mash-up.
In fact, the 25-year-old southpaw has been keen to declare he’s had radio silence from the ‘The Silencer’ after a fourth offer to fight was put on the table.
‘Dr. Steel’ claims he agreed to numerous Team McKenna demands over a prolonged back and forth, only for the fight never to materialize.
“I want to be in the mix, so I wanted to fight Aaron McKenna,” Thompson said.
“But he declined it four times. We got a title on the line when they asked for that and they declined it again. We are both on the same show this weekend but we are not in the ring at the same time because of him. Sky have put the fight to him a few times and he just keeps saying no. “
⚖️ @Aaronmckenna99 ripped and ready for tomorrow night!@boxxer | @SkySportsBoxing | @benjshalom pic.twitter.com/vxKOBg3LFQ— Hennessy Sports (@HennessySports) March 24, 2023
McKenna was non-plussed at the press conference confrontation and says Thompson doesn’t worry him.
The Smithborough fighter says the English fighter is a backward step at present, and points out he is keen to move forward. He advised Thompson to get a win of note on his record and maybe then they can talk.
“I’m not afraid to fight anyone,” McKenna said when speaking to IFL. “He’s a club-level fighter, he’s only fought journeymen, he hasn’t fought a guy with a winning record. I think he should look for a fight with the guy he fought in the amateurs a few years ago, the guy that knocked him out in a fight with head guards. If he fights a good opponent, maybe I’ll consider it for a 12-round fight. I have never heard of him before, like I said he only fought journeymen and now he is looking to fight me. He has yet to prove himself so fighting him would be a backward step. I want to move forward and fight people like Liam Williams.”
🗣 @Aaronmckenna99 and @shakielthompson exchanging words at the presser today— Hennessy Sports (@HennessySports) March 23, 2023
🤔 A middleweight showdown for the near future?@boxxer | @SkySportsBoxing | @benjshalom pic.twitter.com/P06eLvi6f2
If McKenna can get a fight with Williams, it would be a massive chance to leapfrog to world level. However, if not, having a rival in Thompson could prove a massive positive. The English fighter has done enough to generate interest in the clash and it’s now one that would certainly attract more eyeballs than recent bouts, regardless of how McKenna rates him.