In three month’s time on April 21st in Belfast, on the Carl Frampton-Nonito Donaire undercard, one of the most talked about and eagerly-anticipated all Irish bouts will finally take place.
Tyrone ‘The Mighty Celt’ McKenna 15-0 (6 ko’s) will finally square off against hard-hitting Dubliner Phil Sutcliffe Jr 14-2-1 (9 ko’s) in what will surely determine the top light-welterweight in the country. And McKenna is already buzzing for the all Irish showdown –
“Im delighted it’s finally signed off. It’s been a long time coming and a lot of talk around it. As soon as it was announced, everyone was on to me about it, so there’s a real buzz about it and it’s captured the public imagination. I think it’s a genuine 50-50 fight and I think it will decide who’s the best in the division.”
On paper anyway, it looks like McKenna’s toughest test to date, something the ‘Mighty Celt’ agrees with –
“100%, there’s no doubt about it. I think Phil’s in a similar position to me with a similar record so I suppose the fight’s finally happening at the right time. Looking at the match, and I suppose it’s a boxer v brawler matchup. So I think our styles will really gel and we’ll put on a great fight for the fans.
“For me, im buzzing about this already. I love exciting fights like this, it gives me an extra buzz in training. Im giving it 100% in training so there will be no excuses on the night.”
With these two having met previously with Sutcliffe taking a points win in the 2012 National elite senior championships, McKenna is familiar with what Sutcliffe brings to the table –
“Yeah im very familiar with Phil, we boxed before and sparred a lot in the pro’s and amateurs. He’s a good boxer with good power but every fight is different and im confident in my boxing ability and im ready for whatever he brings.
“Obviously it will be a big Dublin-Belfast derby so it really adds to it with the supporters. And hopefully there can be a title on the line because it is a tough fight for both of us, so whether it’s an IBF european belt or something like that, it would be good to have a title on offer for it.”
McKenna says that fighting on such a massive card in front of his home supporters wont add extra pressure but that it’s something he’ll thrive off –
“A big show like this really gets me buzzing. Knowing there’s thousands there and all your supporters really spurs me on and gives me a massive lift, it’s nights like this that you want as a fighter. Like I said, I think it’s a great fight and hopefully I can put on a good performance for the fans and push on for major titles.”
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