EXCLUSIVE: Aaron McKenna talks fight postponement, Freddie Roach
The boxing world has come, understandably, to a standstill as the world deals with the ongoing coronavirus sweeping the world. Many boxers had been in training camps for upcoming fights, one such fighter was Aaron McKenna.
The 20-year-old, from County Monaghan in Ireland has been boxing since he was a six year old, he turned pro at 18 and signed a deal with Golden Boy Promotions.
Currently 10-0 winning six by knock out McKenna will have to wait a while before he gets the chance to add to his record.
“My fight on the 28th of March has been postponed because of the coronavirus.” McKenna said. “It’s unfortunate but there is nothing you can do about it and life most go on. Health and safety comes first of course. I will still keep in good shape and will be ready whenever the call to fight comes. I never stop training.”
McKenna won his last fight by second round knock out and now has six knock out wins, looking like he carries a bit of power.
“I feel like I am getting stronger and starting to develop a lot more power.” Agreed McKenna. “So far I have had six knockouts, I think as I mature you will see a lot more. I always like to put on a good show and go for the knockout. My job of course is to win but it is also to entertain, that’s why I always go for the KO.”
Having fought exclusively in the States, McKenna feels it has been a beneficial experience.
“Fighting in America has been very beneficial to my career. I have had 10 fights already and have fought in some good arenas. The experience I am gaining here in America is amazing and will take me to the next level.” He said.
Does McKenna feel more young UK and Irish boxers should try and make it in America?
“I think this is a tough place for any young fighter to be.” Explained McKenna. “I am fortunate to have my dad and brother over here with me and to have a good team around me like Sheer Sports. I have had a very experienced amateur background and have traveled all over the world and this experience stands to me which has left my transition to the USA more comfortable with adapting to the fighting style here. Also getting signed by Golden Boy was a big bonus for me as they are the best promoters in the world. The opponents here are also tougher than back in the UK and Ireland.”
As McKenna mentioned, his brother Stephen is also a pro boxer and tells me that having him here has been great.
“Having my brother here with me has been great help. We are great company for each other and we do all of our training together. We are very competitive in training and we bring the best out in each other.”
Freddie Roach is one of the world’s most recognisable boxing coaches and McKenna feels he is fulfilling a dream training with Roach.
“It is a dream come true to have a legendary coach Freddie Roach training me.” He said. “Growing up I always watched Freddie in the corner in a lot of big fights. Freddie has trained 27 world champions and the experience I am going to gain will be tremendous. It is going to bring out an extra 20 percent in me knowing I have Freddie in my corner. He is very inspirational and is going to play an important role in my development. The bond between fighter and coach is very important to me and myself and Freddie have hit it off already.”
Looking ahead, McKenna would one day like to fight back home in Ireland.
“I am building up my career here in America. Somewhere down the line I would love to fight in Ireland. It would be great to fight for a world title in Monaghan where I come from. I would also like to fight in Madison Square Garden. My pro debut was meant to be there and fell through at the last minute so at some stage in my career I would like to fight there as I have a lot of Irish fans in the east coast.”
Where does McKenna hope to be in his career this time next year?
“This time next year I want to be ranked in the top 15 in the world and fight for big titles soon after. I want to take over the 154 division. Standing at 6’2” and still only 20 years of age I’m a monster at the weight and still growing.”