‘I don’t want an average career’ – A look into the mind of ‘different level crazy’ Tyrone McKenna

It makes perfect sense to Tyrone McKenna [22(6)-2(0)-1].

The Belfast southpaw’s approach to fights and the fight game, in general, has left many perplexed.

A six-foot-plus southpaw at light-welterweight, ‘The Mighty Celt’ is perfectly built for a box and move approach, he has the physical attributes as well as the skill set to win fights from range.

However, not only does he regularly end up in wars, the Pete Taylor trained fighter has a war policy.

They are fight guidelines that often put him in harm’s way – and it’s an approach that means he may have to come through the kind of adversity he could easily avoid to secure wins.

And it’s not just McKenna’s in-ring approach that baffles people, his thoughts on opponent selection are unique and anything but traditionalist.

Indeed, McKenna’s attitude toward pursuing Regis Prograis [26(22)-1(0)], whom he fights in Dubai next month, recently inspired his own manager, Jamie Conlan to question his sanity.

Former world title challenger, Conlan, had what he believed was an extremely winnable title eliminator lined up for the Oliver Plunketts graduate, only for McKenna to turn it down.

Sam Maxwell didn’t fit the ‘most exciting or hardest fight available’ remit, so it was knocked back, and instead, McKenna sought a fight with former pound for pound name and former world titleholder, Prograis.

It’s a move that had those who stick to the more traditional fight management manual scratching their heads, but a move that makes perfect sense to McKenna.

“My thinking may not make sense to many people but it makes sense to me,” he explains when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.

“Will you recall the time McKenna had a scrap with a decent fighter or will you remember the time Tyrone said ‘f*ck the easier fight, give me the hardest fight possible,’ and then through caution to the wind and gave you a war?

“I don’t want an average career.

“One thing about me is I’m ready for war. I’m always ready for war. I’ve said it numerous times, boxing alone doesn’t get you a cult following, getting into tear ups and wars does,” he adds suggesting he plans to throw down with the American.

“I’m a people pleaser. You’ll see a dog fight come 19th March.”

Although he has an entertain remit and likes to give the fans a scrap to rejoice in, McKenna points out there is a method behind his madness at times.

He says he has the guile to go with his guts and predicts he will show as much on the Probellum card this Saturday.

“I’m not blind. I know he’s talented but a lot of people think Tyrone McKenna just thinks balls and no brain but that’s not the case I know I’m a world level and you’ll see that against him.”

Speaking on a potentially entertaining build up McKenna added: “I don’t know him as a person, I hear he likes to hear the sound of his own voice, a bit like myself, so it should make for a fun intense build up for the fans.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com