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McKenna earns second stoppage in eight days, McGinty shows chin to win barn-burning debut

Donegal’s McGinty had his whiskers checked by the larger Jan Ardon but passed his first test as a professional.

MONAGHAN LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT STEVIE McKenna won his second fight in as many Fridays as he made light work of professional survivor Des Newton in Redditch, Worcestershire. On the same Mick Hennessy-promoted bill, McKenna’s Sheer Sports and Hennessy Sports stablemate Brett McGinty was successful on his debut, toughing out a six-round war with dangerous journeyman Jan Ardon to emerge with a 59-56 win over six rounds.

unnamed (2) Stevie McKenna lands a left hand on Des Newton. Source: Christopher Dean

McKenna, 23, brought the curtain down on Newton in the third, a booming overhand right dropping behind the Englishman’s left ear and closing the show.

‘Hitman’, the older brother of Golden Boy prospect Aaron McKenna [11-0, 7KOs], was dominant throughout as expected, putting together a nice variety of shots and beating Newton into his third-round submission.

Newton had only ever been stopped twice in his 17 defeats, including inside a round by the albeit heavier Paddy Donovan, the blue-chip Limerick prospect trained and managed by Andy Lee and promoted by Top Rank.

McKenna, who moved to 7-0(7KOs) with his third fight of 2020, said: “I put on a good performance and I was enjoying it in there. I got the knockout in the end and I’m very happy with the win; seven wins and seven knockouts. I knew I was going to get the knockout in there and knew it was coming. I was just working on some different things and it was only a matter of time until I landed.”

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McKenna’s slightly younger compatriot, Brett McGinty of Donegal, had an altogether tougher night on what was his long-awaited professional debut, but against an altogether tougher opponent in Manchester-based Czech journeyman Ardon.

unnamed (3) McGinty fires off on the teak-tough Ardon. Source: Christopher Dean

Like McKenna, a former underage amateur standout, light-middleweight McGinty was forced to prove his whiskers in the professional ranks from the get-go, standing up to a barrage during a particularly ropey fourth.

The Ricky Hatton-trained 22-year-old was facing a naturally bigger man in middleweight Ardon but passed his first test with a comfortable margin to move to 1-0.

“I’m pleased to get my debut out of the way and now I can settle down into my career,” McGinty said. “I probably made that a hard one for my debut, but now that’s done I can go back in the gym and continue to learn my trade. I can’t wait to get going in 2021 and build up my record and career.”

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