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Stevie McKenna signs with UK promoter ahead of sharing bill with brother Aaron tomorrow

The 23-year-old ‘Hitman’ has signed a deal with Mick Hennessy, who previously promoted Tyson Fury to world honours.

Stevie McKenna signs a promotional deal with Mick Hennessy ahead of his bout on Friday.
Stevie McKenna signs a promotional deal with Mick Hennessy ahead of his bout on Friday.
Image: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

IRISH LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT PROSPECT Stevie McKenna [5-0, 5KOs] has signed his first promotional deal as a professional and will fight under Mick Hennessy’s Hennessy Sports banner, starting with a six-rounder against professional survivor MJ Hall [2-57-2] in Redditch, Worcestershire tomorrow.

His bout with Hall — who has been stopped just four times in 57 losses — will see the 23-year-old ‘Hitman’ share a bill for the first time with his younger brother Aaron [10-0, 6KOs], a light-middleweight who is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy. ‘The Silencer’, 21, faces an even more famously indestructible journeyman in Jordan Grannum [5-72-2], who has remarkably never been halted despite tasting defeat on 72 occasions.

Both fights are designed merely to keep the Co. Monaghan brothers fight-sharp ahead of a hopefully busier 2021 when they will return to Hollywood to train under Hall-of-Fame coach Freddie Roach. However, the elder McKenna, who like his brother boasts an illustrious amateur background and is managed by Californian outfit Sheer Sports, will first return to the ring in England as soon as next week — provided all goes swimmingly against Hall tomorrow.

And from next year, Stevie will fight more regularly back on this side of the pond as he seeks to take advantage of his new promoter Hennessy’s television partnership with Channel 5 (both brothers’ bouts tomorrow are expected to be streamed live on YouTube before the televised card, headlined by Britons Sam Eggington and Ashley Theophane, begins at 10pm).

Eo47COnWMAUSFQP Stevie McKenna weighs in for his bout on Friday night.

“I’m very excited to sign with Hennessy Sports,” said Stevie. “I have heard great things about them and I’m looking forward to building up my fan base here in the UK and Ireland with exciting fights being shown live on Channel 5. I know that Mick will do everything in his power to give me the opportunity to become a major world champion and become a PPV star when I’m in the marquee fights.”

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Promoter Hennessy, perhaps best known for promoting Tyson Fury during his first journey towards world honours, added: “Stevie is a sensational talent and I’m proud and delighted to welcome him to the Hennessy Sports team. I’m really looking forward to working with Fergal [McKenna (father)] and Ken [Sheer], Lyle [Green] and Rachel [Charles] from Sheer Sports who have all done a fantastic job to get Stevie to this stage.

We will be working closely together to take Stevie to the very top to become a world champion and mainstream star. He’s got a very busy week ahead and then he will have an active schedule for 2021 where he will play a major role in our exciting developments for the future.

“We are tremendously happy for Stevie ‘Hitman’ McKenna inking a promotional deal with Hennessy Sports,” said Charles, the brothers’ career-guiding light in California. “Stevie has given so much passion, dedication, focus and work ethic to get to where he is today and it’s paying incredible dividends. This is a very proud and exciting day for Sheer Sports Management. We have no doubt whatsoever that Stevie ‘Hitman’ McKenna will become a world champion sooner rather than later. Mick Hennessy has a well documented, proven track record and because of that, we know he is the man to get Stevie to the top. We would like to thank Mick and his team.”

Hennessy’s seven-year journey with Fury peaked in the current heavyweight world champion’s first world-title win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, but culminated in an out-of-court settlement as Fury agreed to pay his former promoter £1.5m after breaching contract to sign with Frank Warren for his comeback from a two-year doping suspension and battle with mental illness following that famous victory.

The McKenna brothers’ journey from Smithborough to California is the subject of one of the stories in Behind The Lines 4, The42′s new book which is available to purchase for €10.

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