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Monaghan teenager Aaron McKenna gets TV debut on ESPN in just his second pro fight

‘The Silencer’ steps back between the ropes on Friday 9 March.

MONAGHAN WELTERWEIGHT AARON McKenna will make his televised debut next week as he opens a Golden Boy on ESPN broadcast in Orange County, California.

The 18-year-old Smithborough sensation faces Mexican novice Adolfo Caro on 9 March, and kicks off ESPN Deportes’ live coverage of Ronny Rios vs. Azat Hovhannisyan at The Hangar in Costa Mesa. The card will also be broadcast on delay on ESPN 2.

McKenna is an eight-time Irish underage champion, and became Golden Boy Promotions’ youngest pro fighter when he signed on the dotted line for Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya in the autumn. ‘The Silencer’ made his debut at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, in December, impressing in a stylish unanimous-decision victory over the 1-0 Travis Conley.

Trained by South African former heavyweight contender Courage Tshabalala with some help from his father, Fergal, who relocated to America’s west coast alongside him, McKenna’s aim is to become a world champion by the time he’s 21.

He won 152 of 161 amateur bouts around the world, picking up a European Schoolboys gold medal and a European Junior silver on his travels, as well as gold at the highly-esteemed Nikolay Pavlyukov Memorial in Russia – a tournament often referred to as the ‘mini World Championships’.

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The six-foot-one welterweight is a stablemate of Donegal middleweight Jason ‘El Animal’ Quigley, who is also promoted by Golden Boy and managed by Sheer Sports. Quigley makes his long-awaited ring return in the wee hours of 31 March, not long after his and McKenna’s fellow Ulsterman, Ryan Burnett, defends his IBF World bantamweight title in Cardiff.

‘I felt like I had lost my roots’: Jason Quigley is back with a Donegal vengeance

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