Stevie McKenna believes he is getting bigger and better by the day – and his punching power is coming along nicely too.
The Monaghan bantamweight aws given the nod against Englishman Louis Lynn in an international at the National Stadium on Friday night after three competitive rounds. One could argue that Lynn won the bout, but what’s undeniable is that the more hurtful single shots came from the Ulsterman.
Just over one year previously, McKenna had taken home the Elite light flyweight title, but was back at the venue 7kg heavier this time round. It was a very different Stevie McKenna than the bout with Regan Buckley last December too, with a more measured style and a definite snap to his punches.
Still only 19 years of age, the Old School BC talent is happy with the move and is confident that he will continue to grow into the weight that has been ruled internationally by Mick Conlan and domestically by Kurt Walker.
Following his win against Lynn, McKenna spoke to Irish-Boxing.com and described how “it went good. I got off to a bit of a slow start with my timing – he was very fast, he was busy, and deceiving, so he was hard to get the reigns of.”
“It’s good to get a few rounds under the belt to get ready for the Irish Seniors [Elites] in February.”
The former underage stand-out has big aims for the new year, and predicts he will be even bigger next time we see him at the Stadium. McKenna outlined how “I’m going straight for the Seniors. World Championships and Europeans, that’s the main goal.”
“I’ve more energy and I feel a lot stronger at the weight. At 49kg I was throwing more hooks, more punches, but at 56kg I feel more comfortable. At the end of the second round I hit him with a body shot and he moved back a wee bit. I caught him a couple of times and he just tried to hold.”
“I’m making 56kg comfortable, I’ll be able to enjoy a bit of turkey over Christmas and train hard. Even by the Irish Seniors I’ll be bigger. I keep getting bigger and I’ll grow into the weight more.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti -The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show