Tyrone McKenna faces the biggest test of his career on St Patrick’s Day weekend on March 19 in Dubai.
The Belfast super-lightweight takes on former world champion Regis Prograis in a fight that was initially discussed on Twitter.
“I’m going to destroy this guy. And mark words he [McKenna] will never fight again,” the American tweeted back in November.
The back and forth began last October when on social media Prograis said, “If/when I fight Josh Taylor again, I can assure you I will fuck him up bad.”
McKenna took umbrage at the comments from ‘Rougarou’.
“The day you beat Josh Taylor is the day your tall enough to get on the adult rides in Disney world…get back on your own level. I’d slap ya myself.”
And so began a Twitter feud.
Four months later and it was announced today that two of the sport’s colourful and engaging characters will get to settle their spat in the ring.
Their fight joins Sunny Edwards headline world title defence against Muhammad Waseem at the Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Dubai.
Speaking to Boxing Social this evening, McKenna gave his reaction to the fight announcement: “I’m about to prove a lot of people wrong. People see me as all balls and no brains. In this fight they are going to see there’s a lot more to Tyrone McKenna than just going to war.”
Prograis won the WBA 140lb world title in 2019 before losing it in the division’s World Boxing Super Series final in a unification thriller against Josh Taylor that year. ‘Rougarou’ is widely regarded as one of the best fighters out there but is still to get himself back amongst the big fish at 10 stone.
In the current world rankings, the man from New Orleans sits in the top 5 with the IBF and WBC and in the top 10 with the WBO and WBA.
McKenna is at 10 with the WBO and 11 with the WBA. Beating Prograis will not only give him the biggest win of his career but thrust him into the world title picture at 140lbs.
Last time out McKenna beat Jose Felix on a memorable night at Falls Park, Belfast to earn him the WBO Inter-Continental title. While Prograis beat Ivan Redkach in Atlanta with a sixth round TKO victory which had been initially declared as a technical decision following an accidental foul.
The verdict was later overturned.