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Monaghan's McKenna brothers to fight on same bill for first time, live on British TV

Older brother Stevie will fight twice in as many weekends while Aaron will dust off the cobwebs at the end of a pandemic-stalled career year.

Aaron and Stevie McKenna.
Aaron and Stevie McKenna.
Image: Valentin Romero

PROFESSIONAL BOXING BROTHERS Aaron and Stevie McKenna will share a bill for the first time on 11 December when they each take to the ring on the undercard of Mick Hennessy’s Sam Eggington-v-Ashley Theophane-headlined show live on Channel 5.

The unbeaten siblings have been based in California for the bulk of their fledgling professional careers and are these days typically trained by all-time great coach Freddie Roach in the famed Wild Card Gym, but they flew home earlier during the pandemic and have been working in boxing gyms around the country, including the one built years ago by their father and co-trainer, Fergal, in the backyard of their Smithborough family home.

Stevie, 23, has already fought once this year, scoring a first-round stoppage on a previous Hennessy Sports bill to move to 5-0, 5KOs. Incidentally, he’s penciled in to fight not only on 11 December but a week later, too, on another Hennessy-promoted Channel 5 show.

Known as ‘Hitman’, the six-foot-one light-welterweight said of his updated fight schedule: “I’m thrilled to be fighting on Channel 5 again. It was amazing exposure for me where everyone could watch me for free. From beginning to end, the experience was first-class. Thanks to Hennessy Sports for the opportunity. I hope people watching enjoyed it last time — I put on an explosive performance. I can’t wait to deliver more on 11 December.”

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Younger sibling Aaron, a 21-year-old light-middleweight, is the more seasoned professional having debuted in the punch-for-pay ranks a year earlier. He has been permitted to fight on the same 11 December card as his brother by his promotional company, Golden Boy, in order to shake off any ring rust accrued during a standstill 2020.

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“It was great news from Golden Boy Promotions that they have secured a slot for me on the Hennessy Sports fight night on 11 December,” said the six-foot-one ‘Silencer’, whose record reads 10-0(6KOs). “I’d like to thank Mick Hennessy for allowing me to fight and showcase my skills. It’s great to get a fight before the end of the year and I am eagerly looking forward to putting on a show for my fans here in the UK and Ireland. The stage is now set for me and my brother Stephen to fight on the same card and we intend to produce the fireworks.”

English promoter Hennessy has family dotted across Ireland and, through Irish-boxing connections, has been aware of the McKenna brothers since their glittering underage amateur careers. He said:

Stevie made such a great impression last time with his performance which was clinical, explosive and very quick. I’ve received hundreds of messages from fans who watched on Channel 5 and were left craving to see more of him. It’s fantastic to have Stevie on the show again and so quickly again on the 18 December, but I’m really excited to welcome his equally talented brother Aaron on the card – double the value!

The McKenna brothers’ Hollywood-tinged story so far is one of the features included in The42′s new book, Behind The Lines No.4, which is available to purchase here.

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