Tyrone McKenna questions whether Darragh Foley can handle unique All-Irish pressure


Tyrone McKenna [18(6)-1(0)-1] has warned Darragh Foley that the pressure that comes with the all-Irish fight is like no other and predicts it may crush his light welter rival tonight at the Ulster Hall.

‘The Mighty Celt’ has Dublin-Belfast experience having traded leather with both Sean Creagh and Jake Hanney in highly charged affairs.

He admits the thought of losing to a fellow Irish fighter adds serious duress to proceedings, but it’s pressure he has overcome before and pressure he believes he has acclimatised too.

The southpaw wonders if the same can be said of Foley [17(9)-3(0)-1] in tonight’s co-headlining WBC ranking title fight.

“The pressure is different. 100 percent it’s a different kind of pressure in an all-Irish affair and it’s pressure I’m well used to now,” McKenna told Irish-boxing.com.

“I rise to and thrive on it. I love this and it is really all about whether he will rise or fall. That is the question because he’s never been involved in a clash like this. In saying that I can see him being too much a man to shy away from it and I have prepared with that in mind.”

Although there does seem to be some form of subconscious ‘go to war’ agreement between the pair, the build up has been a lot tamer than expected. Both fighters have been complimentary of each other and avoided any trash talk or left field antics.

The Danny Vaughan-trained McKenna took the love to a new level to some degree when he claimed the Australian based Dub is the best he has signed to face. Considering he has been in with Jack Catterall and twice agreed to face Phil Sutcliffe, that is a sizable compliment – although he did clarify by saying ‘on paper’.

The languid Lenadoon lefty noted how “I’d say Foley is definitely the best I’ve faced, on paper anyway. He’s been world ranked and is ranked highly on BoxRec. I just don’t know yet if hes the best only on paper or in real life too. We will find that out in the ring.”

McKenna was less polite when discussing his go to verbal sparring partner Ohara Davies. There were rumours he would finally get the chance to face ‘Two Tanks’ on this #MTKFightNight or even the big Féile show in August, but he suggests the English fighter turned it down – and claims he is now done with calling out his controversial managerial stablemate.

“I’m genuinely past Ohara now. He has been given chance after chance to grace the ring with me, he obviously doesn’t fancy his chances. I don’t blame him. His name is going to fade away soon hes a thing of the past.”

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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: [email protected]