At 18-years-old, Aaron McKenna is currently Golden Boy Promotion and Ireland's youngest professional boxer. His pro debut came just six months ago yet that hasn't stopped the Monaghan native already start to make waves stateside.
McKenna currently stands at 4-0 (3KOs) having made his career bow in Las Vegas last December. Soon after he followed it up with his US TV debut live on ESPN, disposing of Jose Palacios in emphatic fashion with a first round knock-out.
That performance prompted former Olympian and world champion Oscar De La Hoya, who heads Golden Boy Promotions, to hail the youngster as one of the most exciting in his considerable stable.
Aaron McKenna is one of Golden Boy’s most promising future stars. Aaron has demonstrated in just two professional fights so far that he is a fighter to be feared and respected. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.
McKenna's most recent venture saw him saw him land his third straight stoppage at the 'Big Fighters, Big Cause' Charity Boxing Night card, held to benefit the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation. In his heyday, Sugar Ray collected world titles across five weight divisions and is universally regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. He was ringside as McKenna forced Darrel Harris to retire on his stool and told balls.ie he was hugely impressed with the prodigy's performance:
What I saw that impressed me about Aaron when he competed at my charity event was his focus and his body attack. I want to tell to Aaron to keep it up, stay in shape and don’t ever take anyone lightly in that ring. I see a great future in Aaron!
As an amateur, McKenna boxed out of the same club as Barry McGuigan and heavyweight Kevin McBride and enjoyed remarkable success that included eight National championships, a European gold medal, a World multination gold medal and over 160 fights. It's little wonder he has demonstrated such composure upon his transition to the paid ranks. Since moving to California he has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Vitali Klitschko, Tim Bradley and Paulie Malignaggi and is now out to make his own name in the professional game. His management company planned out eight fights for this year alone.
Speaking to balls.ie earlier this year, McKenna was determined is his desire for a global conquest with the grand finale in Clones. "It’s great to have the Monaghan people behind me and the Irish people as well. Someday back home I want to fight in St Tiernach's Park and fight for a world title there. That’s the dream."
Anyone who has interviewed McKenna will tell you there is a definite contrast between the reserved teen on the phone and the man in the ring. He has a cannon for a right cross and a variety in his shot selection that coerce his opponent to recoil or give in. It is this quiet personality but deadly ability that led to his apt moniker, 'The Silencer.'
I sparred with him from when he was just 15, he's quality. Above all tho, he is driven, dedicated, hungry and absolutely 100% committed. He'll go very far I believe. A quiet, unassuming fella... until the bell rings, he'll take your head off! 👊🏻🔥
— Eric Lilywhite Lightning Donovan (@eric_donovan60) April 4, 2018
Under the guidance of Sheer Sports, the same management company as Jason Quigley and Golden Boy Promotions, the Silencer could face as many as five more fights before the end of the year. Sugar Ray's approval only serves as additional confirmation; the future is bright for Aaron McKenna.