Whoever said ‘losing takes away the one thing a boxer needs, confidence’ doesn’t know Tyrone McKenna [21(6)-2(0)-1].
The Belfast boxer suffered points reverse to bitter rival Ohara Davies last time out.
It was a reverse against a fighter he had called to fight and promised to defeat for three years – and a loss in a fight with a career-changing contract with Top Rank on the line.
It was the kind of defeat that most would be advised – and forgiven – for easing their way back from – but as it has become clear over recent years McKenna isn’t most.
The 30-year-old colourful character jumps straight in against an undefeated Kazakh fighter in Dubai this weekend.
McKenna trades leather with Zhankosh Turarov [24(17)-0], a fighter with 17 stoppages from 24 wins on the massive Carl Frampton and Jamel Herring undercard.
Granted ‘Da Kazakh Kid’ hasn’t any big names on his resume but it’s still anything but an ‘ease your way back in’ clash.
McKenna wouldn’t have it any other way. Indeed he seems surprised when asked if a get back to winning ways fight was ever an option.
“Whats a routine comeback really? To fight a low-level journeyman. or have a warm-up fight? I believe they are the most pointless things about the sport it’s never interested me,” he told Irish-boxing.com.
“You get beat so now you’ve to fight someone shit? No thanks. I’m a high-level fighter and I want to be in big fights and big fights only. My manager Jamie [Conlan] knew that and produced what I wanted. Straight in no butter, WBO Intercontinental title online, undefeated Kasak, hard puncher, I’ll take that every day of the week. That’s what gets me outta my pajamas in the morning.”
Turarov’s record makes for good reading, but without too much knowledge of his opponents to date, it’s hard to gauge how good he really is.
McKenna has done his homework and is expecting a big puncher but believes he will provide the hyped fighter with his first real acid test.
“I know he’s a hard puncher but he’s been inactive, which is a massive disadvantage in boxing.
“He’s also never really been tested but that’s not to say he isn’t the real deal. We will see if he actually is what the hype says.”
On the other hand southpaw, McKenna believes he has proven himself and earned his world ranking the hard way.
“I’ve fought high calibre opponents,” he adds.
“My record speaks for itself I’m 14th in the world on Boxrec for a reason. I’ve never had a career of cherry-picking and maybe that’ll be his downfall,” he continues before promising the full Tyrone McKenna experience.
“I’ll be bringing home a WBO Intercontinental title to Ireland. I know this war will entertain the fans and have you all at the edge of your seats.”