It is hard to imagine what is more daunting for his opponent, the obstructed view behind one’s secluded guard as Aaron McKenna unloads bombs or the one from the canvas floor as the Monaghan teen squats in the corner eagerly anticipating the opportunity to renew his onslaught.
McKenna’s tactic of assuming a sprinter starter-block position during the count, like a hungry hound keen to be let off the leash, must be as frightening psychologically as it is physically. It reinforces the attack that is inevitably coming. Inside the first round, Keasen Freeman elected to avoid that fate and McKenna’s first-round victory was assured.
McKenna was as aware of the looming early culmination as anyone, as he confirmed after the bout.
Great fight, I felt very strong. I landed some good solid shots. After he went down the first time I knew he couldn’t handle my power. I knew I had to start fast but be patient and it all came together.
While he is not meeting three-time former world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, in the gym McKenna has been quietly working on settling down while offloading, in order to ensure his true power is reflected in his shots and last night was the culmination of that work with his right cross proving lethal.
Freeman's only other loss came against 2016 US Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell. As for McKenna, Golden Boy Promotions, headed by former Olympian and world champion Oscar De La Hoya, have charted an active year for the 18-year-old which will consist of a remarkable eight fights.
Photo: Valentin Romero