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The shed out the back where the McKenna brothers' boxing dream began

Aaron and Stevie McKenna now live in California while pursuing their dreams of world titles.

ABOUT TWO KILOMETRES outside the village of Smithborough, Co. Monaghan, behind the house that Fergal McKenna built for his family, stands a large metal shed.

It’s within the four walls of that shed that brothers Aaron and Stevie McKenna spent years mastering the art of boxing, an art which now sees them relocated to the sunshine of California in the hopes of becoming world champions.

We took a trip to the family home in Monaghan and to see the famous shed, which is kitted out with weights, treadmills, bags and a full-sized refurbished ring that once saw Rinty Monaghan and Barry McGuigan grace its canvas. 

The two brothers, still 19 and 21, have taken huge steps from their days in Smithborough Boxing Club, sparring the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Amir Khan and, most recently, former world champion Lee Selby. 

Despite their sharp rise – which includes becoming mates with Kendrick Lamar – the two McKenna brothers are incredibly proud of their Monaghan roots and dream of bringing a world title fight to St Tiernach’s Park some day.

“We’ll never forget where we’ve come from and where it all started.”

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Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh

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