‘I believe his commentating swayed opinion’- McKenna believes Macklin’s punditry caused Mimoune controversy

Tyrone McKenna believes the criticism given to him after his Golden Contract semi-final victory is unjustified and calls out Matthew Macklin for ‘biased’ commentary.

The West Belfast native came through his last fight with the world ranked Mohammed Mimoune in the semi-finals of the lucrative Golden Contract but not without controversy.

Many viewers scored a tough, tense and entertaining fight for ‘The Problem’, but McKenna believes onlookers views were swayed by Sky Sport’s Matthew Macklin.

“I believe his [Macklin] commentating was what swayed everyone’s opinion,” McKenna tells Irish-boxing.com.

“I mean, a commentator is vital to a fight and how you see how the fights going and he was blind-eyed to what I was doing. I mean there were times when I punched him and Macklin said that was great defence from Mimoune, or he was hitting me low and he way saying it was a good body shot. Some ridiculous comments,” he adds.

McKenna believes the former Irish, British and European champion’s words as the Sky co-comm prompted the post-fight online reaction.

“I think that’s where everyone gets this idea of a robbery, because of his scorecard and because of his commentary, if there was someone else on commentary they could have been saying good things about me that could have made the public sway towards me but it is what it is.”

While it was close, and many on social media had the French fighter winning, McKenna claims he never had any concerns.

‘The Mighty Celt’ points out his coach Pete Taylor assured him he had done enough and as a result he wasn’t stressed between the final bell and the score being read out.

“Straight away after the fight Pete came over to me and sad you won that, he was 100% confident. It’s hard for me to tell because I’m in a fight and not scoring I’m getting punched. I don’t know who looks better in a certain round. My coach was straight over to me telling me I won it so.”

The official decisions rang out as (96-94,96-94,97-93) all in the favor of ‘The Mighty Celt’ and while he was delighted with the win, has no qualms about the result, he was left upset with some fan reaction.

One of the kings of boxing entertainment in and out of the ring can’t understand why he has received personal abuse after a fight of the year contender.

The former child actor suggests fans have every right to question the scorecards of any fight, but should understand neither fighter scored the clash. He also can’t fathom why those watching only wanted to criticise his semi final result without any praise for the show put on.

“It annoys me because I think I’m a fighter that fights for the fans. I’m not trying to be a bore and throw three shots a round and not get involved.

“I try and entertain everyone and fight for the fans and for them to go home happy after paying money to see me, so once I put on an absolute war of a fight with unreal entertainment for them after just to slate you.

“I’m in the ring to fight, I’m not a referee, a judge or a coach I’m a boxer and a very entertaining one so once I put on a good fight I feel I’ve done my job so I don’t know why I’m getting the abuse.”

McKenna, who will settle his grudge with Ohara Davies in a mouthwatering final, has studied the clash and admits it could well have been scored a draw, but has is adamant 6-4 in his favour is more than feesible.

“I’ve watched the fight back plenty of times as I always do, it was a close fight, the first five rounds I could have won all five but there were rounds that could have went either way.

“The rounds obviously went my way in the early stages, I won three of five handy in the opening and the other two could have gone either way, six, seven and eight he did dominate and he looked brilliant doing it, but it’s still 10-9 at the end of the day.

“I thought I won the last round so it could be 6-4 it could be 5-5 but on the day the judges picked me and I was fortunate, but I was the one throwing the most punches and with most of his shots they were back of the head or low anyway, so he should have been given a public warning anyway for them, but the judges liked what they liked,” he adds before stating he was as much the away fighter as his opponent.

“He was claiming it was a home-town decision. I’m from Ireland, not England, he’s closer to London than I am, so he’s the home town fighter if he wants to say that – it doesn’t make sense.”

“I don’t mind if I get absolutely battered and win a fight but I didn’t, it was a close fight and people are too quick to call robbery, it’s not a robbery it’d a close fight that could have gone either way, it went my way and a lot of people thought it may of went his way and it didn’t, the judges are paid to judge a fight and all three of them, it was a unanimous decision, that’s not a robbery.”

Josh Reid McCabe

Boxing fanatic, part-time writer for the Star newspaper Email mccabejosh3@gmail.com