Aarron McKenna [10(6)-0] believes he is just three 10 round fights away from a world title shot – and has his sights set on fellow Golden Boy Patrick Teixeira [31(22)-1(1)].
The Monaghan light middleweight fights for the first time this year in England tonight, but is adamant his world champion before he is 22 ambitions are still alive.
The 21-year-old, who takes on solid journey man Jordan Grannum [5(0)-72(0)-2] tonight, is confident three solid wins in 2021 will see him secure a shot at WBO light middleweight world champion Teixeira [A fighter also on the radar of Spike O’Sullivan and Dennis Hogan].
The Freddie Roach trained fighter is confident he can get that strap around his waist by his 15th fight.
“This fight will be more of a maintenance fight to keep ring rust from setting in,” McKenna told Irish-boxing.com.
“Based on my performance after this fight I can then look at appropriate opponents . I’m always looking to be stepped up and I have a close eye on the world champion Patrick Teixeira.
“I think I would be ready for him after I have come through three 10 round fights. So by the end of next year I could possibly be world champion in my 15th fight.”
The pandemic looked dead cert to ruin the younger of two boxing brothers world champion by 22 ambitions.
It has slowed down the Ulster natives career to an extent and has left him frustrated, but he remains adamant a busy 2021 will put him back on course to achieve his goals.
“Of course it has been a very frustrating year, but I always look in the positive side, so even though It has held me back I worked very hard on my weaknesses and my fight game is now a lot better and very much improved.
“I’ll definitely be making up for lost time next year. I’m looking for at least five fights and I will make a big statement when I beat Patrick Teixeira for the world title. All I am thinking about each day I train is that belt.”
There is a job to be done tonight first and foremost. Grannum shouldn’t cause McKenna problems, but considering the 28-year-old hasn’t been stopped in 72 defeats, he should give the California based Irish fighter rounds.
A win is expected but a stoppage would be a statement of sorts and to secure it live on Channel 5 would be profile boosting to say the least.
“This is a great opportunity to strengthen my fan base over this side of the pond,” McKenna said with regard to the TV exposure and his UK debut.
“While it was great fighting in the USA there is no better place or more rewarding then fighting close to home. This is a perfect opportunity for everyone to watch me live on Channel 5. I don’t intend to let anyone down.”
Tonight also represents the first time the brothers fought on the same professional card, another thing for McKenna to excited about.
“It’s just brilliant, it’s terrific that both myself and my brother are on the same card and I’m sure we are going to excite the fans and make it a very exciting night for everyone during these difficult times. Irish boxing is booming and very much alive and we are glad to be a apart of it.”