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Promoter preaches caution as Aaron McKenna faces tricky late replacement

Ben Shalom has urged Aaron McKenna not to allow the events of this week ruin his world title plans.

Not for the first time in his career the Monaghan middleweight had to deal with fight week disappointment, as his eagerly anticipated fight with Linus Udofia was called off last minute.

McKenna has since expressed his frustration and questioned whether Udofia was sick or just scared.

Boxxer CEO, Shalom, has been very sympathetic and understands the younger of the two boxing brothers’ upset but called for the Monaghan man to remain focused after securing him a solid late replacement.

The 24-year-old now faces Mickey Ellison a tough and bigger fighter, whom Shalom suggests ‘The Silencer’ will need to be switched on to defeat.

“Hopefully he can make a statement,” said Shalom. “It’s not the fight that he wanted, but he needs to be professional. You see it so often where someone pulls out, the fighter switches off and then something happens so he’s got to be careful because he’ll have to re-evaluate who he’s fighting. Different game plan, different set of circumstances, but he’s a top-quality lad.”

Shalom doesn’t promote McKenna, that honour belongs to Mick Hennessy and Hennessy Sports, however, the Sky Sports aligned fight maker is working closely with both McKenna brothers, Stevie and Aaron.

Praising them publically this week he said they were a delight to work with and a nightmare for anyone to fight, whilst committing to securing them big fights and hinting at world title success.

“Both of them are so unassuming. They’re very old school. Their dad trains them, they’re all very tight knit, they know what they’ve got and they want to achieve great things in the sport. They are a pleasure to work with.

“Their fitness levels are incredible, they’re so resilient, so durable and they can keep it at such a high tempo. They’re going to be difficult for anyone. I don’t think anyone wants to fight them because it’s such an uncomfortable fight. You are not going to get one second to breathe and so I feel like if fighters aren’t feeling 110%, they’re probably thinking do I really need this?

“But Aaron will get there and once he gets up to world level, he’ll get the fights, hopefully he can become an Irish world champion and that’s the plan.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years