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“I don’t know what their excuses were” – Tyrone McKenna disappointed by domestic rivals

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Tyrone McKenna
[13(5)-0-1] ends his run of domestic opponents tomorrow night, with a Budapest boxer making the trip to Belfast to take on ‘The Mighty Celt.’

The Lenadoon light welter has become one of the break-out stars of Irish boxing in the past year following stoppage wins over Sean Creagh and Jake Hanney on big BoxNation cards.

A hat-trick was sought but, with no willing opponents, McKenna will instead face Romanian-born journeyman Ferenc Katona [8(4)-6(3)-1] in a battle of the southpaws

Katona will be familiar to Irish fans following his knockout loss to Roscommon middleweight Darren Cruise last Summer. While he will obviously be relatively stronger at 144lbs [where tomorrow’s fight takes place], Katona is something of an uninspiring opponent – especially in comparison to McKenna’s recent fare.

“I would have rather fought someone from Ireland, or from Wales or Scotland,” the rangey Belfast fighter admitted to Irish-Boxing.com.

It wasn’t through lack of trying though, and McKenna would reveal that “we offered a load of people the fight and no one would take it. The Irish guys had plenty of notice, I don’t know what their excuses were. The Welsh and Scottish only had four weeks and they couldn’t make it.”

“Hopefully my next fight, I’ve been told, is going to be a big fight, going to be a ten rounder, and it’s going to hopefully be for a title.”

“I’ve been asking top level fighters for the fight. I would love Tyrone Nurse, Robbie Davies Jr they’ve offered as well, Chris Jenkins, Phil Sutcliffe, all fights I’d be looking forward to.”

Welshman Jenkins [17(8)-2(0)-1] was perhaps the closest to taking the fight, although the Sun would get in the way. McKenna explained that “he [Jenkins] said he would take the fight, but unfortunately it collided with his holiday that he’d booked so he couldn’t. That would’ve been a brilliant fight.”

While the opponent may not be what McKenna has come to expect, he enters the bout in tip-top shape following a camp out in Marbella at MTK headquarters.

The 27 year old described how “I was training hard anyway because I thought I was going to be getting someone decent from Ireland or the UK, so I was training very, very hard. It’s been a great camp, I’ve had great sparring with Jono [Carroll].”

“I’m up for this fight, I still have to look good. It’s a journeyman but if look bad then people will think I’m not as good as I’ve shown. I still have to impress.”

“Hopefully in September I’ve a good fight, and more of a fifty-fifty fight.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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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