Boxing

Tyrone McKenna in war of words with Lewis Benson

Tyrone McKenna returns to action after his June war with Jack Catterall against Lewis Benson in Glasgow on November 30
Andy Watters

TYRONE McKenna has proved beyond doubt that he can handle himself physically and he’s no shrinking violet when it comes to the verbals either.

‘The Mighty Celt’ (16-1-1) takes on home town favourite Michael Benson (10-1) in Glasgow on November 30 and a vicious war of wards has broken out between the light-welterweight rivals.

In the build-up to the fight, Benson has claimed that he is the better boxer but McKenna is having none of it.

“There’s no way he’s better technically than me,” he said.

“He moves more but that doesn’t mean he’s better technically. His movement isn’t even effective – it’s just standard running around the ring and any boxer can do that.

“I believe I’m better in every department. A lot of people doubt my technical ability and think I’m just a brawler but that’s not true. If you watch me against Renald Garrido, I was boxing on the back foot, showing my technical ability.

“I went around the world as an amateur because I’m a good technical boxer so I dismiss all claims to the contrary.”

Standing 6’1”, McKenna will have a three-inch height advantage over Benson who lost to Johnny Coyle at the SSE Arena in June this year. McKenna also lost that night but he left no one in doubt of his fighting heart when he went the distance with highly-rated Jack Catterall.

“I hold every advantage over him,” said McKenna.

“I’m taller, faster, stronger, fitter and I have more heart. I have a better engine. I can’t see me losing. Sometimes you have doubts in camp but I wholeheartedly believe I’m better than him at absolutely everything.”

TWO-and-a-half years since his loss to Charlie Edwards on the undercard of Frampton-Quigg in Manchester, Luke Wilton says he has rediscovered his appetite for boxing.

‘Winky’ won on points against Georgi Georgiev at the Shorts Sports and Social Club on Saturday night and now intends to go after the British and Commonwealth bantamweight titles.

The Belfast fighter lost a Commonwealth title challenge against Kevin Satchell back in 2013 but the 30 year-old intends to go a step further in the second chapter of his career.

His victory brought the curtain down on a show that included six other wins on the scorecards including a successful comeback for Lenadoon cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy who will look ahead to making an impact in the division next year.

Emerging cruisers David Jamieson and Conor Cooke both recorded the seconds wins of their fledgling careers while Tony Nellins (now 4-0-1) extended his unbeaten run and there were successful debuts for Kelvin McDonald and Cathy McAleer.

Results:

Bantamweight: Luke Wilton (18-5-1) bt Georgi Georgiev (7-12-1)

Cruiserweight: Tommy McCarthy (12-1) bt Kent Kauppinen (0-6)

Cruiserweight: David Jamieson (2-0) Taha Mirhosseini (1-5)

Super-lightweight: Tony Nellins (4-0-1) bt Radoslav Mitev (11-43-2)

Cruiserweight: Conor Cooke (2-0) bt Pawel Strykowski (1-4)

Super-lightweight: Kelvin McDonald (1-0) bt Alec Bazza (0-38-3)

Flyweight: Cathy McAleer (1-0) bt Teodora Hristova (2-8-1)

CARL Frampton is targeting a place in boxing’s Hall of Fame by becoming the first Irish fighter to unify world titles in two different weight divisions.

Frampton became only the second Irish fighter, after Dubliner Steve Collins, to become a two-weight world champion when he added Leo Santa Cruz’s featherweight strap to the super-bantamweight titles he’d won by beating Kiko Martinex and Scott Quigg in February 2016.

As he counts down the days to his IBF rumble with Josh Warrington, Frampton allowed himself the luxury of looking ahead to what the future might bring.

“If I unify at featherweight I will have done it in two divisions and I would be in the argument for Ireland’s greatest fighter,” he said.

“I want to do that and define my legacy.

“I would like to have a go at super-featherweight. I haven’t got the dimensions to go too many divisions up, but I can maybe tackle super-featherweight.

“Myself and Steve Collins are Ireland’s only two-weight world champions. If you become a champion in a third weight division, that is Hall of Fame stuff.

“I’d love to be in the Hall of Fame. I’m still a bit off, but I would love to win a few more big fights and get a call one day saying; ‘You’ve been inducted.’”

DEONTAY Wilder says Tyson Fury’s decision to bring renowned trainer Freddie Roach into his corner signals that the ‘Gypsy King’ is getting nervous ahead of their heavyweight title showdown next month.

Fury brought Roach and Ricky Hatton into his camp to work with trainer Ben Davison last week and, while some might say that shows he is leaving nothing to chance, Wilder (40-0 with 39 KO wins) says it betrays pre-fight nerves ahead of the December 1 rumble in Los Angeles.

Wilder mischievously added that Fury should ask his uncle Peter, who was chief second when he stunned Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, to return to his team.

“This is the biggest fight of his life to date so if I were him I would be trying to reach out to as many resources as I possibly can myself,” Wilder said.

“I would have been to see Peter, that's who he really needs because his only fame to this game is beating Klitschko. Peter was the one who was with him for that and Peter knows him in and out.

“When you have your original trainer that knows you and has been with you from day one and you start picking time with other trainers and seeing who's going to be the best, but they don't know you.

“In this short period of time a person isn't going to get to know the whole of you, especially in this fight game because your style is what it is - it was created by someone else, another trainer.

“So when you start getting multiple trainers, for that seems nervous, that's a nervous behaviour for me.”

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