Zhankosh Turarov v Tyrone McKenna: A Must-Win For Both!

Zhankosh Turarov v Tyrone McKenna set to clash in must-win fight!

Zhankosh Turarov poses, Tyrone McKenna poses
Zhankosh Turarov (left), Tyrone McKenna

Zhankosh Turarov v Tyrone McKenna set to clash in must-win fight!

On April 3, an intriguing fight will take place on the undercard of the WBO Junior Lightweight championship fight between champion Jamel Herring and Carl Frampton. Unbeaten Kazakhstan fighter Zhankosh “Da Kazakh Kid” Turarov (24-0, 17KOs) will take on Tyrone “The Mighty Celt” McKenna (21-2-1, 6KOs). Their fight will be for the WBO Inter-continental Junior Welterweight title.


Looking at this fight on paper, two things immediately jump out to me! The height of McKenna, which is listed at 6’1, and a lack of a recognizable name on Turarov’s resume. In twenty-four fights, he has yet to face anyone remotely close to world level. Conversely, the Ireland-born fighter, McKenna, has fought some solid competition. Back in June of 2018, he would fight with Jack Catterall (26-0, 13KOs) where he would lose a unanimous decision. Catterall is now the WBO mandatory challenger. Furthermore, O’Hara Davies, a guy who you would not consider world level, but definitely a solid fighter, would hand McKenna his second pro defeat in 2020.

Injuries also stick out for Turarov, who has had two different year-plus spans of inactivity due to injury. Those bouts of inactivity span from September of 2017 to April 2019, and from May 2019 to April 2021. At 30 years old, it is paramount that not only does he win this bout, but stays healthy moving forward. His record indicates he is a power puncher with seventeen of his twenty-four wins coming by way of knockout. However, the jury is still out on the legitimacy of his power until his quality of competition improves.


McKenna holds a key physical advantage: his height! Not heavy with the power, he can approach this fight two different ways. One option is to box on the back foot while popping his jab off the face of Turarov and looking to set up counter shots. Secondly, he could elect to fight fire with fire in close quarters. What he lacks in power could possibly be made up from his experience against better pro competition. We do not know how mentally strong Turarov is.

For Turarov, he is likely going to rely on his power to see him to victory. He may elect to pressure, pressure and pressure McKenna from the time the bell rings. This is due to the fact that McKenna is the boxer in this matchup. He is also going to want to utilize a variety of offense. He needs to go down to the body early and often, and land his nice right uppercut in close quarters.

This is a must-win fight for both men for different reasons. It will be interesting to see how they both perform with bigger opportunities on the horizon for the winner. Especially so for McKenna, who wants revenge against Catterall for that 2018 defeat!

By: Jerrell Fletcher

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About Jerrell F.1648 Articles
Jerrell Fletcher - Lead Journalist Jerrell "Big Kool" Fletcher is the host of YouTube boxing channel "Colossal Sports TV" and is the Lead Journalist for 3kingsboxing.com.