Sunday 20 October 2019

Monaghan teenager Aaron 'The Silencer' McKenna continues impressive start to pro career with fifth straight win

Aaron McKenna.
Aaron McKenna.

Sean McGoldrick

Monaghan teenager Aaron McKenna kicked off a huge week for Irish professional boxing as he won his fifth professional fight in a row in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

In the first ever pro fight streamed live on Facebook, the 19-year old scored a unanimous 40-36 unanimous points' victory over Rolando Mendivil in a four-round welterweight contest in the Avalon Hollywood.

The 22-year old Mexican had won ten of his previous 14 fights and proved a durable opponent who withstood McKenna's best efforts to knock him down. He was caught near the end with a barrage of right-handers from the Irishman but survived.

But the one-sided nature of the contest is underlined by the fact that McKenna landed almost twice as many punches (136-70) as his opponent.

"I was going for the knock out and I caught him with some solid rights there near the end. But he took them," acknowledged McKenna, who moved his pro record to 5-0.

"Being a part of the Golden Boy Fight on Facebook Watch was amazing. I'm glad that I got to be part of boxing history and that my family back home could watch.

"I went in there with an opponent with more experience than me who was ready to go. I learned a lot from those four full rounds," said the Monaghan pugilist.

Aaron's father Fergal and brother Stephen – who has also turned pro – were at ringside to see the contest as was promoter Oscar De La Hoya and the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard.

Later this week two Irish boxers will be bidding to secure world titles.

On Thursday in Toyko, Portlaoise native TJ Doheny – who is now based in Australia – takes on defending title holder Ryosuke Iwasa in his native city for the IBF super bantamweight belt.

Then on Saturday night in Belfast's Windsor Park, double Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes, in only his sixth professional fight, challenges title holder Cristofer Rosales for the WBC flyweight belt.

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