Tyrone McKenna [22(6)-3(1)-0] has been handed the chance to get Belfast revenge on August 6.
‘The Mighty Celt’ will fight ‘Feile Villian’ Chris Jenkins [23(80-5(2)-3] on the Return of the Mick card at the SSE Arena.
Jenkins was last seen in Belfast defeating Paddy Gallagher in controversial circumstances. The Welsh battler was on the right end of a technical decision and retained his British and Commonwealth titles on a massive Feile fight night two years ago, much to the annoyance of ‘The Pat Man’ and the Belfast fight fans.
Indeed, Gallagher, who unsuccessfully appealed the decision, hasn’t fought since, another thing that upsets the loyal Irish fight following. In fairness to Jenkins, who has always entertained against Irish opposition, the debated result was nothing to do with him – but it should add added spice to the affair.
In boxing terms, the former British and Commonwealth champion is a good opponent for Belfast man, particularly off the back of a defeat to Regis Prograis.
Jenkins will come to fight and thus fits McKenna’s entertainment remit. The Welsh fighter is also a known name and should play a part in some build-up antics, which will bring added spotlight to the bout.
‘Rok’n’Rolla’, who also fought Phil Sutcliffe Jr and Darragh Foley, hasn’t hit the kind of form that previously seen him rule domestically of late, losing his titles to Ekow Essuman in 2021 before suffering defeat to Florian Marku in April after victory over Julian Indongo, saw a temporary return to winning ways. However, he still represents a more than respectable come-back foe for a fighter who suffered a first career stoppage defeat last time out.
Speaking before the fight was announced McKenna said: “I’m going back into a fight that will be a real test and that’s what I always need.
“I like to do things the old school way — you lose a big fight and then go straight back into another hard one. If I was to drop a level in opponent, it would only lead to me dropping my level,” he told the Belfast Telegraph before revealing he will share a revised hit list post August 6.
“I’m as hungry as ever. I know where I belong and how good I am and after August 6 I’ll be calling out some big names in the light-welterweight division and we’ll see who bites. I’m looking for another huge fight before the end of the year.”
Padraig McCrory, Lewis Crocker, Paddy Donovan, Kurt Walker, Kieran Molloy and Feargal Quinn will all fight on a Michael Conlan versus Miguel Marriaga undercard that also plays host all Irish fights between James McGivern and Tony McGlynn and Colm Murphy and Ruadhan Farrell.