Tyrone McKenna hit back at those criticizing his Golden Contract semi final win declaring ‘you can’t call it a robbery’.
McKenna came up on the right side of a close yet controversial decision at York Hall last night, a decision that came in for a lot of online and even live tv criticism.
Everyone from the defeated Mohammed Mimoune, Sky commentators and the online masses reacted with surprise at the 96-94, 96-94, 97-93 win, despite agreeing both fighters enjoyed success in nigh-on every round.
‘The Mighty Celt’ admitted he felt the fight was close but feels he won by two rounds.
“I thought I won 6-4 and the judges had it the same, I can’t argue, I’m loving life.”
‘The Mighty Celt’s’ dance partner on the night did not share the same views as he refused to leave the ring for a couple of minutes after the decision McKenna spoke to us about that “Listen, everyone fights with their heart and they put everything into camp and in a fight like that where it is very close and it could have gone either way you’re gonna think that you won and I can understand the emotions and what is going through his head.”
“But at the end of the day there are three judges there for a reason, it wasn’t even like it was a split-decision all three judges gave the fight to me so you cant call it a robbery”
McKenna suggested he wasn’t sure after the final bell sounded. Not that he thought he had lost, more so he wondered if the judges had seen it the same way as him.
With a little time to reflect he felt he banked the fought four and the last two, which proved good enough to win him the fight.
“It is so hard to call when you’re in a fight. You know your getting punched you’re getting hit, you don’t know whose punches look better, you don’t know anything you’re in a war, especially in a fight like that you know it wasn’t a technical battle. It was two men standing there trading and it is hard to know who is looking better. I thought I won the first four and he won the middle, he won the middle rounds big but I came back and showed heart in the last couple of rounds and I thought I nicked them.”
After switching camps after the first Golden Contract fight McKenna spoke of the differences he felt under the tutelage of Peter Taylor and his gameplan for the fight.
The 29-year-old was asked to box, move, use his skills and his physical attributes.
However, ‘War McKenna’ returned on more than one occasion, although the Belfast fighter argues he had to consult his heart against such a tough foe.
“I couldn’t keep Mimoune off me, he is a world-class fighter and the first round is what I was supposed to do for the whole fight. The first and second round and I think I done it in the fifth as well, but it is so hard to keep Mimoune off you the way he fights and I had to go back to the old roots and dust-up.”
The fight was confirmed on Tuesday to be for the WBC silver ranking title but McKenna told us the story as to why he was just defending his WBC International instead “It was (the fight) supposed to be for the WBC silver but the BBBofC put a block on the Silver title at the last minute, the WBC sanctioned it and BBBofC said that there was some rule and they couldn’t sanction the fight for that belt, so we had to just fight for my belt, but I am still getting the rankings and world number 5 and I’m still in the competition so.”
The former child actor faces an Ohara Davies decider – after the Londoner stopped Jeff Ofori in the other semi final.
The pair will finally get the chance to settle a long running grudge whilst fighting for a six figure five fight contract.
During the draw on Tuesday Davies pulled the Golden Ball from the bag and had the choice of what fight he would like, we asked McKenna was he surprised Davies did not pick him “Not a chance, I knew he was going to pick Ofori he is not silly, I was glad he picked Ofori because it is the final that everybody wants to see, it doesn’t deserve a semi-final, I knew I was going to go through today and I thought he might have got through against Ofori so it is set up nicely”
The final is set for summertime, but no venue has been set as of yet, McKenna announced his desire to fight in Belfast “I would sell out half off the SSE Arena by myself, everyone wants to see it, but whether it is in the UK or Belfast I believe i will have a serious crowd coming to this fight.”
A final word from McKenna about his team-mate and friend Tyrone McCullagh who was beaten in a brave display against tournament favorite Ryan Walsh “He came up against a puncher in the weight class above where he usually fights, I thought he started well and won the opening 4/5 rounds and then he got caught, Ryan Walsh is a talented fighter and McCullagh will be back and he will learn a lot from this 100%.”