Learning Aaron McKenna tested in Facebook fire-fight

As they always do, commentators noted Aaron McKenna‘s baby-face last night but the Monaghan welterweight was in the sort of fight that puts hair on your chest.

19-year-old McKenna scored his fifth professional win at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood but the Golden Boy prospect certainly didn’t have things his own way versus tough Mexican Rolando Mendivil.

McKenna claimed a unanimous decision four-round points win in the first ever Golden Boy Facebook Live-broadcast fight but had to overcome a more than game opponent and some tough middle round in California before emerging with the educational victory.

Featherweights JoJo Diaz and Jose Rosas topped the inaugural Facebook bill in a fight which was marred by a disrupted stream but there were no such issues for the show’s opener, with Golden Boy boss Oscar De La Hoya cooing “what a way to start.”

McKenna, looking increasingly large at 147lbs, began the fight itself well, pushing Mendivil back to the ropes and dominating proceedings

The Mexican came back strong in the second, electing to trade with McKenna. The former underage amateur star indulged his rugged opponent and would wrestle his way on top, eventually, buzzing the Sinaloan toward the end of the round.

A dramatic third saw McKenna ship a big uppercut from Mendivil and he lose his gumshield seconds later. The Smithborough teen, however, fought through this, ignoring Mendivil’s suggestion to pause the bout to re-insert the guard, and he would finish the round the stronger.

‘The Silencer’ enjoyed his most dominant round in the fourth, with big right hands repeatedly hurting Mendivil who managed to see it out to the final bell.

Going to the cards, McKenna was adjudged to be a 40-36 winner with each of the three officials at ringside and thus moves to 5(3)-0. The game Mendivil drops to [10(3)-5(3)].

The fight, McKenna’s fourth of 2018, comes following three decisive stoppages. It is Golden Boy and Sheer Sports Management’s intention for the Irish teen to box again next month.


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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