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Saturday 27 February 2021

Hatton's Donegal prodigy to debut on UK TV tonight while Stevie McKenna fights for 2nd time in 8 days

The 22-year-old has been training under Ricky Hatton for well over a year and will make his debut alongside Hennessy Sports stablemate McKenna [6-0, 6KOs].

Brett McGinty signs his first professional deal with Mick Hennessy (L), as observed by trainer Ricky Hatton.
Brett McGinty signs his first professional deal with Mick Hennessy (L), as observed by trainer Ricky Hatton.
Image: Christopher Dean

DONEGAL BOXING PRODIGY Brett McGinty has signed a promotional deal with Mick Hennessy and will make his debut live on Channel 5 tonight, while his Hennessy Sports stablemate Stevie McKenna [6-0, 6KOs] will also box on the UK channel in his second televised fight in eight days.

Light-middleweight McGinty, 22, has been working with Ricky Hatton for over a year and will be trained by the former two-weight world champion in the professional ranks.

The St Johnston native reached two Irish Elite finals at two different weights and was an eight-time national champion at underage level. McGinty is also a Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist and European Schoolboys bronze medallist.

His televised professional debut in Redditch, Worcestershire, is a stellar six-round test. McGinty will face Czech journeyman Jan Ardon [2-5] whose record disguises the fact that he was highly unfortunate to come out on the wrong side of a decision against highly touted Matchroom prospect John Hedges last time out. Ardon has only ever been beaten by early-career, undefeated prospects. Light-welterweight McKenna, meanwhile, will face Des Newton [8-17, 2KOs], who has been stopped just twice in his 17 defeats — most recently by Andy Lee and Top Rank’s blue-chip welterweight prospect Paddy Donovan.

McGinty, who like Monaghan’s McKenna brothers and his fellow Donegal man Jason Quigley is managed by California-based outfit Sheer Sports, is like his trainer Hatton an aggressive, come-forward fighter with a strong body attack, but will have his work cut out for him against the never-before-stopped Ardon.

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“After what has been a very challenging year, I’m delighted to be joining Hennessy Sports to help guide and progress my career. I was days away from making my pro debut back in March and Covid kayoed the world which stalled my debut plans. With the help of my family and team, I managed to get through knowing something amazing and exciting was just around the corner for me. And here I am signing with Mick Hennessy and Hennessy Sports. I’m delighted and can’t wait to step through the ropes on Friday night. I’m on way to achieving all that I have trained for.”

“Brett is a fantastic, world-class talent and I’m delighted that he has joined the Hennessy Sports team,” said McGinty’s promoter Hennessy, who last week confirmed the signing of McKenna. “I have seen Brett develop over the years since he was a young amateur and have always been aware of his enormous potential. I always felt that with the way he fights, he was always more suited for the pros.

I’m over the moon that Ricky is training him as they both have similar styles and he will definitely bring out the best in Brett. I’m delighted that he’s now joined me as he embarks on his professional career and I believe that he can thrill a new generation of fans with his exciting and explosive style.

Trainer Hatton added: “I’m extremely excited about Brett’s potential. He has a fan-favourite style that people are gonna love.

Even though he has a strong, attacking style he has a huge amount of talent — as you can imagine with his amateur pedigree — which he sometimes forgets. But given time, when all the ingredients fall in to place, I think we have a champion of the future.

Action begins on Channel 5 at 10:30 tonight with a British light-heavyweight title fight between Shakan Pitters and Craig Richards. McKenna’s and McGinty’s fights are due to be televised shortly afterwards.

Sky subscribers in Ireland can manually add the free-to-air channel in Settings –> Manual Tuning, by entering the following settings.


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