Aaron McKenna scores stoppage win on Sugar Ray Leonard charity card


Aaron McKenna moved to 4-0 last night with his third consecutive stoppage in Los Angeles.

The Monaghan welterweight, both Ireland and Golden Boy’s youngest fighter, was in action on the ninth annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” charity fight night in aid of the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation for paediatric diabetes.

McKenna took on Florida’s Darel Harris at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in what was his first six rounder – although he didn’t see the later rounds.

McKenna brought a halt to the bout at the end of the third round. Having dropped Harris with a left hook in the second, the Smithborough 18-year-old worked a cut over his opponent’s eye to such an extent that the referee called off the fight during the break between the third and fourth rounds.

“When I saw the blood, I wanted to go after him even more,” said Aaron McKenna. “Though I thought I was going to stop him in the next round, it was a good learning experience.”

Following a debut war in December, McKenna [4(3)-0] had scored two first round stoppages and got some good rounds in here as he continues his rapid development on the West Coast.

The Santa Monica-based boxer will go straight back into camp with coach Courage Tshabalala alongside his brother Stevie ahead of his next date, with Golden Boy wanting McKenna to fight at least five more times this year.

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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