Kennedy McKinney
Weight(s)Super bantamweight
Height5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Reach68 in (173 cm)
Born (1966-01-10) January 10, 1966 (age 55)
Hernando, Mississippi, USA
Boxing record
Total fights43
Wins by KO19
Medal record

Kennedy McKinney (born January 10, 1966 in Hernando, Mississippi) is an American former professional boxer, who won the bantamweight gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics. As a professional, he won the IBF and WBO super bantamweight titles.

Military service

McKinney took up boxing while serving in the U.S. Army, private first class stationed at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Amateur career

McKinney claimed an amateur record of 214 wins, 13 losses.

Professional career

Known as "King", McKinney was a cautious yet exciting junior featherweight (super bantamweight) fighter who captured the IBF title by beating Welcome Ncita in 1992 in a spectacular bout that saw him staggered and taking a standing eight count before knocking the African cold with a perfect right hand.

After five defenses, among others a KO over Rudy Zavala and a points win over Ncita, he lost his belt to future star Vuyani Bungu, a fight which was deemed 1994 Upset of the Year by Ring Magazine.

Two years later he challenged undefeated Marco Antonio Barrera for the WBO super bantamweight title, a vicious battle in which he dropped Barrera in the 11th, but lost via TKO in the 12th. McKinney later took a rematch against Bungu, but lost a narrow split decision. Later that year, he did battle with Junior Jones who had upset Barrera in an exciting war, one which McKinney won via TKO.

McKinney then moved up a weight class to challenge Luisito Espinosa for the WBC featherweight title in 1998. Espinosa made quick work of McKinney, winning via a 2nd-round TKO.

After the loss to Espinosa, McKinney quickly lost steam. He would fight only five more times against scattered and limited opposition, three of which took place during a brief comeback run in 2002-03.

Life after boxing

Kennedy now resides in Olive Branch, Mississippi, where he is simply known as "Coach McKinney". He is the Head Boxing Coach at the Prize Fight Gym in Southaven, Mississippi.


  1. ^ Boxers Rise From Swamp By Dave Nightingale, St Louis Sporting News, October 10, 1988.
Regional boxing titles
Preceded by
Sugar Baby Rojas
USBA Super Bantameight Champion
February 9 – December 2, 1992
Won IBF title
Title next held by
Rudy Zavala
Title last held by
Maui Diaz
USBA Super Bantameight Champion
May 5, 1996 – December 19, 1997
Won WBO title
Title next held by
Jason Pires
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Welcome Ncita
IBF Super Bantamweight Champion
December 2, 1992 – August 20, 1994
Succeeded by
Vuyani Bungu
Preceded by
Junior Jones
WBO Super Bantamweight Champion
December 19, 1997 – 1998 (vacates)
Succeeded by
Marco Antonio Barrera