Tyrone McKenna and Lewis Benson clash ahead of Friday Night Fight


Tyrone McKenna and Lewis Benson have continued their trash-talk throughout fight week ahead of their clash tomorrow night.

The Belfast light welter takes on the Scotsman in Glasgow, live on BoxNation, tomorrow at the Emirates Arena in a ten-round fight which has had a heated build-up.

Two fighters coming off defeats in Belfast during the summer, it is a real crossroads clash for the pair who are more than familiar with each other.

Infamous sparring sessions earlier this year have been the subject of much debate during fight week but now the talk has reverted more to the location of the fight.

The Glasgow-based McKenna [16(6)-1(0)-1] believes he can’t particularly be considered the ‘away’ fighter in the match-up with Edinburgh’s Benson [10(2)-1(0)].

‘The Mighty Celt’ described how “I don’t believe the noise will be in his favour tomorrow night. I’m bringing a big crowd over from Belfast and everyone knows they make some noise.”

“I’ve also got a lot of support in Glasgow already. People are coming to watch me fight. I believe I’ll have the louder support on the night and regardless – I’ve fought in American, Birmingham and Dublin before so I know what it’s like to be the away fighter.

“First thing’s first – I’m entertainment. Benson’s boxing style is like his personality; it’s boring. Nobody pays their hard-earned cash to someone run around the ring for 10 rounds.

“They’re coming to watch me batter Benson. I’m from Belfast but I’ve been in Glasgow for camps for two or three years. I’m a fan’s dream. I’m 6ft 1 and I could stand there and be awkward but I don’t – I give the fans what they want.”

Benson claims to be less concerned with who is in attendance and who is cheering for who but does argue that there will be substantial noise in his favour in the small hall venue tomorrow.

“I don’t even need the crowd,” he professed. “He does. If he hadn’t had it in his last fight, he’d have been stopped. The crowd will be making lots of noise for me on the night anyway.

“I’ll be bringing a big crowd for this. My pals will make some noise. I brought some numbers to Belfast for my last fight but that will treble in Glasgow. I’m sure Tyrone will have his own fans over there but it’s not going to change the outcome of the fight, which will be a Benson win.”

“It’s me and him in there. Anyone can say what they want but it’s just me and him. He’s got all his mates here. I see wee Paddy Barnes over there and he’s been giving it to me for weeks. I’m going to prove him and all Tyrone’s friends wrong.”

“This fight will steal the show. Both men are coming off a defeat and both of us deserve credit for taking it. I think it’ll be a cracker. Tyrone will be punching shadows all night as I hit and move him around. Prove me wrong if you can, Tyrone.”

Continuing to give his view of the fight, the Commonwealth Games participant believes he will be a level above McKenna – so much so that he is willing to give him a rematch in Belfast afterwards.

Benson outlined how “I’ve far too much skill for him. I believe I’m a better boxer. If he tries to box me, he’s going to get outboxed. I believe I’m going to win this fight.

“After I beat him in Scotland, I’d love to go over to Belfast and beat him in his own back yard too. It’ll need to be a good fight for that to happen but I’d love to do it.”

McKenna, of course, does not agree and is planning to get the ten-round non-title fight out of the way before stepping up the chase for a lucrative clash with controversial Londoner Ohara Davies.

The Lenadoon southpaw detailed how “I’m bigger than him. He said he was going to drop down to lightweight before so that shows he shouldn’t be a super-lightweight. I’m naturally physically superior and he’s going to feel the difference on the night.”

“This will get me back to winning ways and I then I want to be talked about with the main fighters in the UK and in Europe. I’ve always been vocal in saying I want to fight Ohara Davies and I still do. He’s the main guy I want.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie