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Madison Square Garden show slot can ease McKenna's pain after heartbreaking Davies defeat


Painful night: Tyrone McKenna suffered points defeat to Ohara Davies

Painful night: Tyrone McKenna suffered points defeat to Ohara Davies

Painful night: Tyrone McKenna suffered points defeat to Ohara Davies

It seemed a cruel twist of fate that having given the most disciplined performance of his career Tyrone McKenna returned to Belfast with the bitter taste of defeat on his lips.

McKenna and rival Ohara Davies went through a largely uneventful 10-round tactical battle in the Golden Contract on Wednesday night with the Londoner handed a majority verdict and the new six-figure deal with a top promoter.

The 30-year-old Belfast man was naturally left downhearted by the loss to Davies and many felt he had done enough to win - on my card he was a 6-4 victor.

"I thought I was doing enough to win the rounds and get the decision, but it is what it is," said McKenna.

Having been criticised for allowing himself to engage in toe-to-toe battles rather than use his natural height and reach advantages, McKenna carried out the game-plan of coach Pete Taylor as he boxed from distance, but the judges edged towards Davies.

Manager Jamie Conlan, though, was far from downbeat and believes that McKenna can not only come again, but push on towards even bigger fights.

Indeed, Conlan has revealed that he is already making plans for McKenna to be part of a big night at Madison Square Garden.

Conlan's brother Michael is being lined up for a world title shot on St Patrick's Day in the Garden next year should he come through an important fight before the end of the year.

"I was very pleased with how Tyrone boxed against Davies and thought he won it. I'm sure he can improve on the performance, but the main thing is that he boxed the way we wanted him to and he can look forward to some big opportunities," said manager Conlan.

"Of course, at the moment he is feeling very down because it was a big chance for him but Tyrone is a very marketable guy and I've no doubt that the Americans would love him.

"If all goes to plan we would hope that Michael will be fighting for a wold title in the Garden and I think it would be the perfect time to bring Tyrone to the States.

"He has the charisma to go down well in the States and domestically there are some big fights to be made as well. So far he has only lost to Jack Catterall who is mandatory for a shot at the WBO World title and now Davies in a fight that many thought he won.

"So this is far from the end for Tyrone. He will learn from this fight and he can go on and there are possible fights with the likes of Lewis Ritson or Robbie Davies which would be of great interest in the UK."

Meanwhile, Tyson Fury has insisted he will still fight in December despite reports that his projected bout against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas is to be rescheduled from December 19.

Fury said: "I'm very ready to fight. but the problem is I keep hearing different stories about what's supposed to be happening in my career. The one thing I want to announce to the world is I will be fighting in December."

Belfast Telegraph