McKenna dispatches late replacement Ellison to open Jonas-Mayer broadcast

Aaron McKenna made short work of late replacement Mickey Ellison to open the televised broadcast of Natasha Jonas’s IBF welterweight title defence against Mikaela Mayer at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. 

Irishman McKenna (17-0, 8KOs) had been set to face Linus Udofia, but an ill Udofia withdrew on Thursday. Ellison answered the call to save the date only to be dispatched in six rounds.

Ellison took centre of the ring in the opener and pushed forward, attempting to drive the touted McKenna onto the back foot and prove that he was not just a typical late sub. 

McKenna allowed Ellison to take the lead and countered the Blackburn man before a number of right hands landed flush on Ellison’s chin, although he was seemingly unaffected.

Ellison was trying to close the distance but guilty of falling in. However, McKenna failed to capitalise on the openings.

Still, the Irishman stole the initiative in the third frame, taking control with the jab and catching Ellison coming in on the inside. McKenna tagged Ellison hard, on the ropes, with three one-two combinations in the final 30 seconds of the round.

McKenna then proceeded to further take the wind out of Ellison’s sails courtesy of right hooks to the body, which slowed Ellison down, and made him a more static target. 

As a consequence, McKenna landed telling right hands while Ellison looked to smother. Ellison was wobbled late in the round following a right uppercut, which caused him to stumble towards the ropes. 

And the replacement finally unraveled late in the fifth. McKenna again targeted the body, Ellison stumbled around the ring and was grateful to hear the bell at the end of the round.

The end, however, came in the sixth, following an unanswered barrage of punches on the inside, forcing Ellison into a corner. A straight right at close quarters snapped Ellison’s head back, forcing referee Mark Lyson to wave off the contest at 2-21.