Aaron McKenna returns on April 12 to continue a busy 2018
On April 12, live from the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio, California, unbeaten welterweight Aaron “The Silencer” McKenna, 2-0 (1), will step into the ring for the third time in his fifth month as a professional.
These are indeed busy times for the County Monaghan, Ireland-raised prospect.
McKenna relocated to the sun and sand of California shortly after he turned 18 years old, once signing on with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. McKenna also signed a management contract with Los Angeles, California-based Sheer Sports Management as well.
McKenna enjoyed a good amateur career, picking up 145 wins in 153 bouts, and laid a strong foundation for his imminent move to the pros. Despite success in the amateurs, it is clear his aggressive, fan-friendly style is tailor-made for the punch-for-pay game.
Don’t let the baby-faced looks fool you; this young man can fight.
McKenna is staying busy training, learning and adjusting to the pro game and he is active, as Golden Boy and Sheer Sports plan to him on a busy fight schedule.
UCNLive.com caught up with the personable McKenna to get his thoughts on his first few months as a pro and what he hopes to accomplish in these early stages of his career.
Bill Tibbs: Hi, Aaron; thanks for taking a minute to chat.
Aaron McKenna: No problem, Bill, happy to do it.
BT: How has your transition been since coming to the United States to train?
AM: I have been coming down here for the last couple of years. The transition has been great. There is no better place to train than here in California, in the United States. The sparring I get is great and the training is just fabulous. It’s been going really well.
BT: You have a very fan-friendly, aggressive style.
AM: I think my style has always been better suited to the pro game. I’ve always felt that. I like the pro style better for me; it fits my style much better.
BT: You are pretty much training 24/7; there are no breaks at all right now. You’re keeping a busy training schedule.
AM: Yes, I am very busy. That is just how I like it. I’m doing 14 sessions a week. I’m doing six runs, three strength-and-conditioning sessions and five boxing training. It has been great. I am always training and working hard.
BT: You may have left home for a little bit but your supporters are certainly still following you, as I heard you received the “Athlete of the Month” award in Ireland, back in March.
AM: Yes, I was Athlete of the Month for March in Ireland. It is great to know I have their support and the support has been growing. I’m over here training but to know that people are following my career back home is great.
BT: You were ranked number one in the amateurs and you could have worked toward an Olympic appearance. Was that ever something that might have stopped you from going pro at such a young age?
AM: No, not really. I actually really always just wanted to be a pro and win a world title as a professional. That has always been the goal. I mean, you could get cut or anything could happen and then you have put in all that time. By the time the 2020 Olympics rolls around, I will have a lot of pro experience and will have made a lot of progress as a pro. The dream was always to go pro and win a world title.
BT: You are still working with your father Fergal. But you are also being trained by (former heavyweight contender) Courage Tshabalala. How has that been going?
AM: Training with Courage has been going great. It couldn’t be going better. He had a lot of experience as a pro and he has been really good to work with. We are working on setting down on the body shots and landing them in the right place and at the right time. It couldn’t be better, as far as training with him.
BT: You certainly had an interesting week before your first fight.
AM: It really was a crazy week. I was scheduled to fight at Madison Square Garden in New York but then my opponent fell out with a medical issue. So we then got switched to Las Vegas a week later. There are not many 18-year-olds who get to weigh in at Madison Square Garden and then Las Vegas in the same week for their pro debut. It was really exciting.
BT: You must dream of one day getting back to Ireland for a fight for your fans back there.
AM: Of course. I’d love to fight back in Ireland one day. I love training here and fighting has been going great but I’d love to fight back in Clones, Ireland, one day. That would be a dream to win a world title and fight back home in Ireland. I want to fill the stadium in St. Tiernach’s Park back home in Clones one day.
BT: I’m told you will fight eight times this year.
AM: Yes, I will fight a minimum of six times a year but I’d like to fight as often as possible. That’s what I love; that is what I want. I want to be fighting and keeping busy.
BT: You are tall for a welterweight. Do you have any trouble making 147 pounds?
AM: Yes, I’m 6-foot-1 and I believe I’ll grow a bit yet. So I could end up a junior middleweight or a middleweight down the line but, right now, I make 147 pounds really easily. I am no more than 155 between fights and make welterweight easily right now.
BT: It is early days yet but do you ever give yourself any type of timetable for your career?
AM: I, of course, don’t have a real timetable right now, as I’m just working hard and focusing on my fights right now. But I do think about a world title. That has always been my dream to win a world title. I’d like to be fighting for a world title within three years. That is my goal. I’m fighting and training hard. I’m always ready and always in shape. I’m ready for anyone they put in front of me.
BT: Thanks for the chat, Aaron.
AM: No problem, Bill. Thank you.