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This is a make or break year for me and I need the big fights, says hungry McKenna

 

Aiming high: Tyrone McKenna wants a title shot
Aiming high: Tyrone McKenna wants a title shot
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Tyrone McKenna says he is desperate for a big fight as he faces up to a critical year in his career.

The Belfast light-welterweight gained kudos for his bullish performance against world title challenger Jack Catterall last year but then came a disappointing performance against Lewis Benson, someone he should have handled with ease rather than engaging in a close quarter brawl as he edged victory over 10 rounds.

Now 29, McKenna is eager to move once again into a meaningful fight that will push him towards a major title shot.

Last Friday night, McKenna comfortably outpointed journeyman Oscar Amador in the Ulster Hall over six one-sided rounds.

"I felt last Friday that I stuck to what my coach wanted me to do - using my boxing skills and working from range. I used it to practice in a fight what I had been working on in the gym and it went well," commented McKenna.

"Now I want a big fight - I've asked my team for it and they have said they're looking at good names for a fight that can really see me kick on because this is a make or break year for me.

"I was disappointed with how I fought before Christmas against Benson but there was a reason for that.

"I did the weight wrong, I lost a stone in four days and couldn't move the way I wanted so the only way to win was to stand and throw a lot punches. So I've learned from that and one thing I have done is bring in a new nutritionist.

"It's getting tighter to make weight but I can still do it and be strong.

"I really need to get back into a good fight, back to where I belong."

For a couple of years, McKenna has had an ongoing Twitter rivalry with brash Ohara Davies, who also lost on points to Catterall having also been beaten by world class Scot Josh Taylor.

McKenna insists he is ready to sign for the fight but is not convinced that Davies is just as keen to step up to the plate.

"If that fight doesn't get made it will not be my fault. I've made it clear I want it so it's up to him but I'm not focused on Ohara Davies, I just want a big fight and if it's someone else then fine," added McKenna.

"There's a lot of shows coming to Belfast and I want to be on them in exciting fights."

The first opportunity could come on May 17 at the SSE Arena on a bill that is expected to be headlined by former world champion Ryan Burnett.

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