True to BSTN’s proprietary ‘Feed Fam, Fuck Fame!‘ philosophy, we’re introducing you to some members of the immediate as well as the extended BSTN family. In their own words, they talk about themselves, their career, and selected topics close to their heart. This is Feed Fam – Episode I featuring WBO Intercontinental Champion boxer Tyrone McKenna aka. The Mighty Celt.
On the role boxing played early on
It sounds a bit cliché, but boxing kept me off the streets, kept me from drinking. In Ireland, drinking is a big thing as a youth. Eleven-year-olds and twelve-year-olds are out in the streets, drinking. And boxing stopped me from drinking under age. It kept me from a lot of stuff. Kept me away from girls, too. I just dedicated myself to boxing, was in the gym every night. Basically, it gives you good discipline and teaches you respect and motivation.
On hometown love
As I said, I’m very proud of being from West Belfast. We’re a fighting city. And when I won my second belt [the WBO Intercontinental Championship], there were eight thousand people in the arena – which, by the way, is only a five-minute walk from my house – and all of them were super proud of what I had just achieved. That filled me with pride because of how proud I am of the city and now the city is proud of me.
On his fighting style
A lot of people in boxing want to become a world champion and aspire to be a knock-out artist and stuff like that. The thing that I want to be is Ireland’s most entertaining fighter. I’m 6’1 and I’m left-handed. I could go ahead and bore people by boxing them. But that’s not what I do. Since I want to be the most exciting fighter, I go out and have wars with every single fighter that I face.
I could easily outbox most of my opponents, but I don’t. I enjoy going down in the trenches, having and war, and slugging it out. Coming out looking disfigured and with blood all over me, that’s what I love. That’s probably not the smartest move but I love it. (grins) I have an unbelievable engine. That’s what wins me most fights. It’s breaking the other fighter’s heart because no one can keep up with my pace.
I love people talking about it afterwards and calling it an unbelievable fight and a war. I like entertaining people. That’s what I want to be. I want to be the most entertaining fighter in Ireland.
On the feeling of winning a fight
The high you have from winning a fight is insane. You can’t even get a wink of sleep. You’re just overplaying everything in your head. It’s an unbelievable feeling that you can’t match. After boxing, a lot of people turn to drinking and stuff like that because they can’t replicate that kind of high. It truly is an unbelievable feeling.
On being cast as an icon
I don’t know if idol is the word. I would say I’m a favorite in West Belfast. But basically anywhere I go, I get asked for pictures. Last week, when I went to a bar, I didn’t even have to buy a pint. (laughs) Everyone was just buying me drinks.
On the next Tyrone McKenna
My daughter is eight and my son is seven and they love the fact that I’m boxing. Sometimes it bothers me when they run around bragging too much about the fact that their daddy is a champion and that their dad is ‘The Mighty Celt”. But at the end of the day, it makes me super happy to see how proud they are of me. They want to become boxers themselves and to hear them say that they ‘wanna be the next Tyrone McKenna’ makes me so proud.
On making sacrifices
My kids do miss me. I’m away 30 to 40 weeks of the year, so I miss a lot of how they’re growing up. For example, when they were younger, I was in America most of the time. It’s definitely hard for me but I believe that it’s also part of something I have to do to give them a good childhood and a good upbringing. I’m glad to know that they understand it and they love watching me fight. And when I come home all battered and bruised with stitches on my eye … my son doesn’t care, he laughs at it. But is more sympathetic. She’s like ‘Aw, daddy! Your face is destroyed.’ (laughs)