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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 20 January, 2019

Teen star Aaron McKenna wrecks opponent early on US television debut

Aaron McKenna wasn’t hanging around on his return to the ring.

MONAGHAN TEENAGER AARON McKenna picked up his second ring win as a professional – and a first stoppage – on his American TV debut in California overnight.

‘The Silencer’ of Smithborough took less than a round to blast out the previously 1-1(1KO) Jose Palacios of Colorado on a Golden Boy card which was broadcast live, coast-to-coast, on ESPN Deportes.

The former eight-time Irish champion and European Schoolboys gold medalist saw his originally-scheduled sophomore bout postponed a fortnight ago when his opponent was caught allegedly forging documents, but McKenna sealed a quick return date through promoters Golden Boy and management team Sheer Sports.

The 18-year-old welterweight sealed Palacios’ fate more quickly still, following up on a thunderous overhand right to the temple to fell the American early, before unleashing another barrage after Palacios beat the count.

During the latter exchange, Palacios protested that he had been caught by a rabbit punch but then refused to respond when the referee asked if he wished to continue.

Edward Hernandez Sr duly called a halt to the bout two minutes and 46 seconds into the opener.

McKenna, now 2-0(1KO), is Ireland’s youngest professional boxer, and also the youngest prizefighter signed to Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions stable.

The42 understands he’ll return to the ring in less than three weeks’ time at the same location – Indio’s Fantasy Springs Casino.

After 161-bout amateur career which yielded unprecedented silverware and only nine childhood defeats, the six-foot-one gunslinger has aims of becoming a world champion within his first three years in the paid ranks, but likely won’t be rushed by his team: for one thing, he isn’t yet fully grown; McKenna, now operating at 147 pounds, was fighting at 114 just over two years ago.

Golden Boy wish to eventually unleash McKenna upon America’s Irish-heavy east coast as they’re now beginning to do with his stablemate Jason Quigley of Donegal, though ‘The Silencer’ dreams of one day fighting for world honours at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones – the home of Monaghan GAA.

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