The 22-year-old became the latest addition to the ever growing Irish pro ranks when he punched for pay for the first time on Saturday night.
The Monaghan lightweight scored a dominant first round stoppage in LA to finally kick off his pro career.
McKenna has been based on the U.S. West Coast for the past year alongside his dad Fergal and brother, 7(4)-0 Golden Boy prospect Aaron, and finally made his debut on a Red Boxing International bill at the Sports Arena in Pico Rivera in the South East of the city.
‘The Hitman’ chopped down Trey Branch [0-3(2)], having him down early before forcing the referee to wave off proceedings as he punishingly kept up the assault.
Stevie McKenna stops Trey Branch in less than a round. 1-0, 1KO. Lift-off for ‘The Hitman!’ pic.twitter.com/5cQePABSKG
— Gavan Casey (@GavanCasey) April 7, 2019
It was an impressive bow by the eager to dish out punishment McKenna and he claims the kind of exciting display fans can expect from him moving forward.
“I was very happy. I was just buzzing to get in there and you can see how much I wanted to hurt and get him out of there. It’s brilliant to get the knockout in round one on my debut as well, especially” the middle of the boxing brothers told Red Glove News immediately afterwards.
McKenna believes he can go far and outlined how “I am really happy with my performance tonight and I am looking forward to many more nights like this. Expect many more nights like this.”
“There is plenty more in me. I can box as well, but I just wanted to get in there and prove a point to everyone that I can get rid of these guys real quick. That was the plan go in there and get rid of him and I did that.”
“I am a really exciting fighter and I like to put on a show for everyone, tune in if you want to see my journey to become a world champion.”
McKenna traveled to LA with his brother over a year ago, but had to watch from ringside as the Golden Boy prospect wracked up seven wins.
It was potentially frustrating for the Smithborough native, but he claims the year training and some big name sparring, including with pound-for-pound #1 Vasyl Lomachenko, did help when he finally debuted at the weekend.
“I’ve been training unbelievably for this over the last year in Los Angeles. I’ve been in the gym training every day, three times a day. It showed in the ring, all the hard work paid off.”
“I had all the preparation in the world that I needed – and that’s why we came to Los Angeles, me and my brother Aaron, for that kind of work.”
“When a fight comes, and the next fight that’s available, my team will talk. I’ll be ready. I will be in the gym come Monday morning so I am back straight back into it,” he pledged.