Hurling team prepares for big match with boxing training in Hyde

IRISH boxing stars Stevie and Aaron McKenna and Brett McGinty put the Manchester-based hurling team GAA Fullen Gaels through a special boxing training session at Ricky Hatton’s energie Fitness gym in Hyde.

The McKenna brothers and McGinty are deep in preparation for their fights on the Hennessy Sports show on Saturday, November 13 at Coventry Skydome Arena and which will be televised live on Channel 5.

The boxers and hurlers

While in Manchester on a week’s sparring camp, the McKennas and McGinty, who is based in the city with trainer Ricky Hatton, offered to help the Fullen Gaels hurlers to get fight ready as they prepare for the All-Ireland quarter finals against the junior Ulster champions in January.

The boxers along with trainer Fergal McKenna, father of the brothers, put the players through some boxing training and techniques.

Fergal McKenna Brett McGinty, Aaron McKenna and Steve McKenna

Fullen Gaels, formed in 2005 by the ex-pat Irish community, had to win the All-British Championships to claim a place in the All-Ireland quarter finals, only the third time they have achieved the feat.

Hurler Robin Spencer, 30, who relocated to Manchester through work three years ago, said: “Our training usually entails running, ball skills and gym work.

“The boxing training was a lot more intense, and you also have to be strong mentally.

“Our hurling training is at a lot slower pace and more relaxed. Boxing fitness is like no other.

“In hurling you can get away with things, but in boxing you cannot drop your guard for one second. It was definitely a step up.”

Robin, who works as a warehouse manager for an American company dealing in baking solutions, was no stranger to boxing as he had previously taken part in a white-collar charity bout during his university days.

The McKenna brothers are unbeaten as professionals, welterweight Stevie, 24, and nicknamed ‘The Hitman’, has won all nine pro bouts, eight by knockout while middleweight Aaron, 22, known as ‘The Silencer’ has a perfect record of 12 victories, seven by knockout and will challenge for his first title in Coventry, the details for which will be announced shortly.

Brothers Steve and Aaron Mckenna in a training exercise

Donegal middleweight Brett, 23, meanwhile, has won all three bouts since turning pro, with all three having distinguished amateur careers.

All three will box in Coventry where Shakan Pitters against Reece Cartwright for the vacant WBC international light-heavyweight title headlines the triple-title card that includes a fiery Midlands derby between Coventry hot-shot River Wilson-Bent and Tyler Denny for the vacant English middleweight championship.

Tickets are priced at £45, £55, £90 and £120 and are available from

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