Tyrone McKenna is promising to pull off a big upset on Saturday night at Dubai’s Duty Free Tennis Stadium, when he faces former world champion Regis Prograis in a WBC junior welterweight eliminator.
Prograis is a tremendous favorite, with his only defeat coming at the hands of Josh Taylor in a very close fight.
McKenna has never been stopped - with two defeats, both by close decision, to Ohara Davies and Jack Catterall.
“I’ve always said I want the hardest fights out there for the fans to enjoy,” McKenna said to The Belfast Telegraph. “I don’t want to go out there cherry-picking or be known as a boxer who got a certain title because I cherry-picked my way to the top.
“I go out of my way to get these hard fights. I was offered a much easier opponent in a world title eliminator, but I said no — I want the hardest fight possible and that is Prograis. At the time, Josh (Taylor) and Jack (Catterall) were fighting so they were out of the picture and the next in line is Prograis, so it’s who I went after.
“People think I’m out of my depth, but when have I ever been out of my depth in fights? I lost to Jack Catterall in my 14th fight when I was a nobody, lost by one round and he is No.1 in the world, then lost to Ohara Davies who is world-class in a fight many people thought I won. I’m glad they are saying that as I can’t wait to shock them and prove them wrong.”
For his part, Prograis has promised to punish and outclass McKenna in the ring.
“I’m focused on being a champion again,” Prograis said. “I’m focusing on him and whoever is in my way to becoming a champion,
“I’ve been in with top dogs already and beat people way better than him, but for me I’m not just fighting Tyrone, but fighting towards the belt. I won’t say I’m overlooking him because he is in my way and I have to run him over to get that title again.”