Tyrone McKenna [22(6)-2(0)-1] couldn’t have faced his fans if he’d turned down a fight with Regis Prograis [26 (22)-1(0)].
Many have questioned #The Mighty Celt’s’ decision to look for and then accept a fight with the former world champion with pound for pound top 10 capabilities.
In fact, his own manager, Jamie Conlan wanted him to go in a different direction and fight Sam Maxwell instead.
However, McKenna was adamant he had to stay true to his word he felt he would be a hypocrite if he knocked back the chance to fight Prograis on one of two Probellum shows in Dubai this weekend.
Ever since his defeat to Ohara Davis, the southpaw has adopted a strict ‘entertain policy’. He has assured he would never look to bore his way to victory again and promised to find dance partners that will help him bloody the dance floor.
McKenna also told his fans he would always look to take the toughest fight on offer.
So knocking back the American was never an option, regardless of what anyone was going to advise.
“I’m not a hypocrite,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“After every fight, I’ve announced I want the hardest fight possible. I’m doing this for the fans. Entertainment is always my umber one priority, entertainment over belts, over anything”
“So I’d be a hypocrite if I was offered Prograis and said no I’ll take an easier fight. Prograis is the toughest fight I could of had in the world – aside from Josh Taylor. That’s what I’ll be remembered for, taking the hardest fights possible and entertaining the fans.”
When the fight was first announced American fans expressed anger at how Prograis was being managed, simultaneously slating McKenna.
‘The Mighty Celt’ took it on the criticism flush on the chin and smiled. The Pete Taylor trained fighter points out it’s not the first time his talent has been questioned and claims, like the times he was doubted previous, he will prove people wrong in Dubai this Saturday.
“It has “zero effect,” he answers when asked about people calling the fight a ‘mismatch’.
“This isn’t the first time that I’ve had this kinda sh*t thrown at me. I had it in numerous fights”
“Every single time people say ‘he’s domestic level’ then I beat someone, then it’s .. ‘ah he’s only European level’ .. then I beat someone who’s European champion, then it’s ‘ah he’s fringe world level’.. they keep on moving the goal posts.
““I keep on proving doubters wrong and this is gonna be no different. Even against Catterall, they said I was out of my depth and I was gonna’ get stopped in 1 or 2 rounds, and what way did that turn out? I got beat by a point.”