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No booze, so I can't lose this time, insists cool Tyrone McKenna

 

By David Kelly

The last time they met Tyrone McKenna came out the loser, but he admits that he handed victory to Anthony Upton in their Irish seniors quarter-final clash.

That was seven years ago and on Saturday night at the SSE Arena they meet again over 10 rounds with Belfast man McKenna insisting he is now a completely different fighter.

"When I lost to Upton that night it was during a time when I was drinking rather than training. I had lost interest in the sport and I was still beating him right up until late in the third round," said super-lightweight McKenna.

"Now I'm not drinking, I'm totally focused on boxing and I've had a brilliant 12-week camp but he's only had four weeks and even though he may have been ticking over I believe I have all the advantages this time around.

"There's nothing that can be read into that fight as amateurs. We've both moved on but I know I'm a big, sharp super-lightweight and he looks as if he should be boxing at a lower weight class."

McKenna is unbeaten in 16 fights, while Upton has a solitary defeat on his record of 18 bouts so victory is expected to see the winner move to within touching distance of a British or Commonwealth title shot.

The Belfast man readily admits he has been frustrated by a lack of opportunity to show his potential at the top level but feels that is about to change.

"I've been promised that if I beat Upton then the next fight will be a big one," added McKenna.

"I want to go straight in there against someone like Ohara Davies - I want a big test to show what I can do, I don't want to be hanging around.

"But first I have to deal with Upton and put on a show on such a big stage."

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