Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE: Result tonight as Briton retains title in enthralling bout

Natasha Jonas retained the IBF welterweight title in a thrilling clash with Mikaela Mayer on Saturday, beating her challenger via split decision in Liverpool.

Fighting in front of a hometown crowd, Jonas was forced to dig deep against Mayer, who was making her debut in the division. In the early rounds, Mayer – a former super-featherweight champion – was chasing Jonas, whose wise shot selection and naturally greater power was proving the difference.

However, the American challenger began to find her rhythm as the bout progressed, varying her offence and backing up Jonas, 39. Mayer, 33, seemed to be pulling ahead, leaving Jonas arguably needing to win the final few rounds to emerge from the fight with her championship status intact.

What followed was an enthralling series of rounds, which could have gone either way, as each boxer brutalised the other to the body. Ultimately, Jonas emerged a split-decision winner, as the scorecards read 96-94, 93-97, 96-95 in favour of the two-weight champion.

Re-live updates and results below.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE

  • Natasha Jonas retains welterweight title with split decision against Mikaela Mayer

  • Jonas comes out on top with scorecards of 96-94, 93-97, 96-95 in her favour

  • Liverpudlian was fighting in her hometown as she took on the American

  • ‘We have to hustle harder than men’: Mayer and Jonas talk to The Independent

  • Is it okay to keep saying ‘women’s boxing’? Here’s what Mayer thinks...

  • Meet tonight’s ring announcer: ‘Big Mo’ Kody Mommaerts

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:24 , Alex Pattle

Here’s our fight report from tonight’s main event:

Natasha Jonas edges past Mikaela Mayer to retain world title in thrilling clash

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:28 , Alex Pattle

Thank you everyone for following our live coverage of Jonas vs Mayer!

Don’t forget, we’ll be back very shortly with live updates from UFC 297.

Visit the Indy Sport page to follow all the build-up to the main card in Canada!

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:27 , Alex Pattle

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:24 , Alex Pattle

Jonas entertained the idea of a rematch, but Mayer was naturally the keener of the two.

Both fighters say they’d be open to 12 three-minute rounds, if they were to clash again.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:21 , Alex Pattle

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:12 , Alex Pattle

Jonas: “This is probably my last year in boxing, and we want it to be the best chapter in the book.”

Mayer: “I thought I did enough to win. I would’ve given her the first round or two, but after that I think I outpunched her and landed the cleaner shots. Thank you to everyone who showed out tonight. I didn’t have a rematch clause on my side, but I hope we can [do this again].”

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:10 , Alex Pattle

Mayer will be gutted, that one really could have gone either way.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:08 , Alex Pattle

Jonas: “I know this girl here, Mikaela Mayer, is going to be absolutely devastated – because I’ve been there.

“Please, please use that as motivation to go on and get the title that you deserve and to become a two-division champion.

“That little bit of fear factor brings out the best in me.”

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:07 , Alex Pattle

Jonas: “Me and Ben [Shalom, promoter] know how hard this year has been. We’re so grateful to every single person who spent their money to be in this arena tonight.”

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:07 , Alex Pattle

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:03 , Alex Pattle

Natasha Jonas def. Mikaela Mayer via split decision (96-94, 93-97, 96-95).


The Liverpool crowd erupts!

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:01 , Alex Pattle

Which way is this one going to go...? I think both fighters have a claim here.

We’ll have the judges’ scorecards imminently.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

23:00 , Alex Pattle

Round 10

Final round of this electric contest. Beautiful left hook by Mayer, who then buries uppercuts into the body of Jonas, as the champion holds her.

Mayer barely blocks a right hook. One minute to go! Jonas’s left eye is closing up badly! She manages to land a right hook.

The crowd sings in support of Jonas. The final bell sounds.

A real, real treat of a fight.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:57 , Alex Pattle

Round nine

Beautiful combination by Mayer, including a pair of thudding hooks to the body and an uppercut to split Jonas’s guard.

Slick southpaw jab from Jonas, who then skips away to evade a cross. The welterweights briefly grapple.

Now they separate, and a wild exchange ensues. Jonas with a mean left hook, now a right.

Mayer with a number of body hooks, but Jonas’s own shots to the body seem to trouble the challenger!

One round to go. This bout could go either way.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:54 , Alex Pattle

Round eight

Just three rounds to go! Mayer looks the fresher fighter.

Jab upstairs, cross downstairs by the American.

Jonas’s guard just about saves her from a cross, but Mayer’s next attempt is on point!

Lovely shot selection from Jonas, who varies her offence in an attempt to gain some momentum. The crowd roars her on.

Both women are landing almost at will! Incredible action. Hard counter left overhand by Jonas, but AGAIN Mayer seems unbothered!

That might have been an important round for the champion, in any case.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:51 , Alex Pattle

Round seven

Jonas lures Mayer onto a left hand, but Mayer’s next entry is smarter and she lands a short cross.

Nice body shots from Mayer! And Jonas! Both fighters are letting their hands go! The crowd is very much up for this.

More heavy body shots from Jonas, now a brutal left upstairs. Mayer still doesn’t seem to care, however!

This is enthralling, frenzied stuff. Jonas with a harsh uppercut, but Mayer marches forward like a Terminator anyway!

Great round.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:48 , Alex Pattle

Round six

We’re already into the second half of this fight!

Mayer closes the distance with a flurry of short, straight lefts and rights. She corners Jonas again, but the champion skips into space.

Jonas looks to halt her challenger’s momentum with some spiteful hooks to the body! Mayer is unperturbed, though, and replicates the Liverpudlian’s attack.

Stiff left hook by Mayer, and Jonas holds. The fighters separate, and Mayer wanders onto a buzzing jab.

Jonas with a left hook to the mid-section. She now wings a left hand upstairs, but Mayer slips it.

Hard left hook by Jonas on the bell.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:45 , Alex Pattle

Round five

Good left hook by Jonas! She misses with her follow-up shots, but the crowd is buoyed.

Mayer marches forward and burrows a right hook into the body of the champion. Jonas responds in kind, but with two hooks to the body!

Jonas with more encouraging work: a left hook upstairs and a right hook downstairs. Jonas jabs to the body. Both fighters miss with left hooks.

A cross is just out of range for Mayer, but she backs it up with a right hook to the body, while Jonas is cornered.

Natasha Jonas (right) and Mikaela Mayer during their welterweight title fight (Getty Images)
Natasha Jonas (right) and Mikaela Mayer during their welterweight title fight (Getty Images)

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:42 , Alex Pattle

Round four

The pattern so far is that Mayer is looking to impose herself at this new, heavier weight, but she’s chasing Jonas a little too much. And Jonas naturally has more power, with which she’s picking her shots wisely. The champion is also moving very nicely.

That said, she walks onto a right early in round four! “Tasha” is the chant in Liverpool. Now it’s the hometown fighter pressing forward.

Mayer reverses the pressure and unloads a series of straights, improving her accuracy as her output increases.

Nice left hook to the body by Mayer, now one to the head. Not the first time tonight she’s used that combination.

A good round for the American, who ends it with a couple of clean right crosses while Jonas is backed up against the ropes!

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:39 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Mayer comes forward again. Jonas looks to deter her with hooks to the body. And some more.

Mayer looks to get behind the jab, and she follows up with a decent, long cross.

Again Jonas steps off to her right after throwing a hook.

Mayer corners Jonas but lets her escape with relative ease.

Mikaela Mayer (left) and Natasha Jonas in action (Getty Images)
Mikaela Mayer (left) and Natasha Jonas in action (Getty Images)

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:36 , Alex Pattle

Round two

Mayer with a pawing left hook and a right cross. Jonas fires back, and the crowd loves that.

Great work from Mayer now, as she doubles up on a left hook, going to the body then head.

Nice movement from Jonas, who rolls under a punch and lands a right hook to the body while stepping out of Mayer’s range.

Mayer is stalking Jonas, firing off straight rights and lefts – with mixed success.

A scrappy exchange finishes off the round.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:33 , Alex Pattle

Round one

Mayer stands orthodox, Jonas stands southpaw with her Union Jack gloves raised.

Mayer flicks out a few straight shots, but Jonas fires back with a combination of hooks and uppercuts, eliciting cheers from the Liverpool crowd.

Great counter cross from Jonas. Mayer wings a right hook into the body of the champion.

Jonas with her own body shot, a short left. Stinging jab by Mayer, upstairs.

Jonas with a counter jab late in the round.

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:30 , Alex Pattle

Here we go. Ten two-minute rounds scheduled for the IBF welterweight title.

Jonas, 39, is the hometown fighter and defending champion in Liverpool.

Mayer, 33, is the challenger from the United States.

Jonas is a two-weight world champion, Mayer is looking to become a two-weight world champion.

The fighter introductions are complete. LET’S GO!

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:26 , Alex Pattle

The home national anthem gets more boos than the US one!

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:24 , Alex Pattle

A great reception as Jonas emerges, as you’d expect!

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:20 , Alex Pattle

Lots of boos for Mayer, who emerges to the sound of The Beatles’ “Love Me Do”!

A bold bid to win over the home fans in Liverpool?

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:19 , Alex Pattle

The ring walks are about to begin!

While you wait, why not check out our main-event preview?

Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer on the risks that are changing women’s boxing

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer LIVE

22:12 , Alex Pattle

One fight to go, and it’s the main event...

Natasha Jonas defends the IBF welterweight title against Mikaela Mayer.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

22:04 , Alex Pattle

Zak Chelli def. Jack Cullen via unanimous decision (116-113, 116-112, 115-114).

AND NEW! Chelli settles the feud, more than three years after his draw with Cullen!

The right decision.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

22:01 , Alex Pattle

Round 12

Cullen might just need a finish here. Chelli sticks to his gameplan.

There’s some rough boxing at close range. It’s a really scrappy round.

We’ll go the judges’ scorecards...

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:58 , Alex Pattle

Round 11

Into the championship rounds. Chelli rolls under a punch and lands a slightly laboured left hook.

Cullen hops about, trying to keep himself energised. He steps in with a jab but receives an uppercut to the body for his trouble.

Chelli is looking to finish strong here. He unloads an overhand right, but Cullen’s guard stands up to it.

Cullen, cut above his left eye, is now dripping blood from his nose.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:52 , Alex Pattle

Round 10

Three rounds to go, barring a stoppage. Both men look to box on the outside and miss.

Cullen steps onto a jab that snaps back his head.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:48 , Alex Pattle

Round nine

I’d argue that Cullen needs a strong final stretch in this fight.

He just misses with a jab, and Chelli’s counter effort is on point. Now Chelli massively overshoots a right hook.

Chelli holts back Cullen’s head with a jab, but the champion retaliates with a spiteful hook!

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:45 , Alex Pattle

Round eight

Cullen presses forward, and Chelli looks to deter him with some counter punches.

Chelli’s jab can be so awkward; he really leans off to the left and throws it from a weird angle.

The boxers wrestle in close. Now they separate, and Cullen skips to his right before firing off a stinging jab. Better from the champion.

Chelli tries a counter left hook, but it’s a bit of a sloppy effort. This fight hasn’t been of the highest quality, but it has been engaging.

Chelli stumbles off balance and misses with a wild hook.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:41 , Alex Pattle

Round seven

That ‘bruising’ around Cullen’s left eye might have actually been smeared blood. His corner tapes up the wound.

Into the second half of this fight. Cullen keeps his guard high to block a wide left hook. Chelli tries an overhand right now, but it doesn’t quite land.

Better accuracy from the challenger now, though, and he catches Cullen’s attention!

Stern double-jab by Chelli. Harsh hook to the body of Cullen. Is Chelli starting to pull away in this fight?

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:37 , Alex Pattle

Round six

While Cullen is the taller fighter, Chelli has a bit of a thicker frame, and he’s using his weight to sap the champion when he can.

Lots of hard body shots from Chelli at close range, as he backs up Cullen against the ropes.

Cullen looks quite tense, just as he appeared to be in the first couple of rounds. He seemed to relax a bit after that but has seemingly regressed somewhat...

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:33 , Alex Pattle

Round five

More messy exchanges in this frame. More grappling.

The boxers separate. Chelli partially lands a spiteful overhand right.

A good round for the younger man.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:29 , Alex Pattle

Round four

Chelli loads up bigggggg on an overhand right, but he misses by some distance.

A scrappy exchange ensues, with both men landing sporadic shots. Snapping jab by Cullen after he misses with a rear uppercut from range.

Good jab from Chelli, who then hammers a right hook into the midriff of Cullen. And again.

Chelli steps back to evade a jab, then pings one of his own.

There’s a brief period of inactivity, and the crowd voices its restlessness.

More grappling, and Chelli again gets the better of Cullen at that range, battering him with right hooks.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:25 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Lots of jerky feints from both men, but little output so far in this round.

Cullen can’t quite find his range with his crosses, despite his long reach. Chelli opts for some hooks, to the body then head, before clinching.

Decent rear uppercut by Cullen, and Chelli replies with a hard right hook. Another right hook by Chelli, then a left uppercut to the mid-section.

More aggressive hooks from Chelli. There’s some bad bruising around Cullen’s left eye.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:21 , Alex Pattle

Round two

Chelli with an unorthodox jab from range, but it works! Now he just overshoots a right hook, but Cullen will have felt some of it.

Cullen walks onto a jab, then Chelli lands an overhand right! This is a good spell from the younger boxer...

Another well-timed jab from Chelli. He jumps in with a left hook, but it doesn’t land particularly hard.

Cullen with his own hook now – a cleaner shot. He parries a jab. Lots of holding ensues, with the boxers roughing each other up.

They separate, and Cullen chases Chelli into the corner.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:17 , Alex Pattle

Round one

There’s a genuine feud here, which could add some heat to this one. Twelve rounds scheduled.

Both fighters stand orthodox. Chelli, 26, fires off a rapid jab to the chest of Cullen, who has a height and reach advantage.

Chelli leaps into range now with a left hook. Cullen, 30, replies with a clipping right cross! Chelli takes it well.

Chelli dips off to his right and just misses with a left hook. Cullen blocks a winging overhand right now.

Again Chelli surges forward, landing a right hook and a left hook. Cullen seemed to absorb the latter punch well; it sounded like a clean connection...

Cullen just about finds the mark with a couple of uppercuts in a frenzied exchange at the end of the frame.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

21:09 , Alex Pattle

Does Cullen have one of the best nicknames in boxing?

Fighting out of Little Lever in Lancashire, Cullen’s moniker is “Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver”.

Okay, it’s quite cumbersome to be fair, but I think it’s fun.

Chelli is out first, marching quickly to the ring. Cullen follows suit.

Here we go!

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Jack Cullen vs Zak Chelli

20:57 , Alex Pattle

Next up, it’s the chief support! Jack Cullen and Zak Chelli square off, three-and-a-half years after they fought to a draw in Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom garden!

Cullen defends the British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles in this one.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:55 , Alex Pattle

Karriss Artingstall def. Lila dos Santos Furtado via decision (77-75).

A fair reflection, I’d say. Furtado fought especially well in those middle rounds, while Artingstall started and finished strong – including with that knockdown at the end of round one.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:53 , Alex Pattle

Round eight

Final round! Furtado again looks to get out on the front foot.

Lots of activity from the Brazilian, who continues with her habit of springing forward with a flurry of straight punches.

A right cross gets through for Furtado, who then eats a right cross. Artingstall with a nasty right hook to the body.

We’ll go to the judges’ scorecards.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:50 , Alex Pattle

Round seven

Penultimate round. Artingstall with a tidy, short right hook as Furtado slings forward a few errant straights.

Another burst from Furtado, who again favours straight shots but finds a bit more success this time.

More blood spills from the Brazilian’s nose.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:47 , Alex Pattle

Round six

Very pronounced head movement from Furtado, but it does the trick. She then surges at Artingstall.

Artingstall with a sequence of straight punches, and a right gets through.

The women now get into some phone-booth fighting, and Furtado lands a clean hook and uppercut!

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:44 , Alex Pattle

Round five

Into the second half of this fight. Furtado’s nose was leaking a fair bit of blood at the end of round four.

Heavy left straights from Artingstall, but Furtado’s guard holds up for now.

Two clean counter rights from Furtado! She’ll take confidence from those! Now a flurry to the body.

Artingstall squeezes a cross through Furtado’s guard. Furtado with an uppercut to the body.

Furtado throws a series of hooks now, but Artingstall is just about beating her to the punch – no pun intended – with straight shots.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:40 , Alex Pattle

Round four

Lots of activity from Furtado again, but when Artingstall finally does decide to fire back, the Briton does so with power.

Right hook to the body by Artingstall. Furtado comes back with a one-two upstairs. Now she backs up Artingstall and unloads some hooks, with Artingstall’s back against the ropes.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:38 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Again Furtado gets out on the front foot. Artingstall unloads some hooks to try to deter her, but Furtado covers up well.

Strong counter right hook by Artingstall, then a southpaw cross. Another cross, well timed by the Briton.

Furtado is struggling for accuracy a little bit.

I say this every time, but these two-minute rounds just fly by. There’s your customary mention.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:35 , Alex Pattle

Round two

Furtado is seemingly unperturbed by that knockdown, as she gets right after Artingstall, throwing herself into close range.

Furtado lands a few sporadic rights and lefts, but Artingstall looks unfazed. The Briton carries much more power, evidently.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:33 , Alex Pattle

Round one

Furtado stands orthodox; Artingstall stands southpaw. Lots of jabs from both fighters early.

A one-two is off target for Furtado. Now she sees a cross parried.

Well-timed counter cross by Artingstall, then a pair of slick jabs.

Furtado misses with a few hooks, before Artingstall times another counter cross well.

OH! And right on the bell, she floors Furtado with a one-two! Furtado stands, and there’s some confusion as the referee guides her to her corner and she takes a seat; her corner had already put her stool down!

The referee affords some leeway, though.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Karriss Artingstall vs Lila dos Santos Furtado

20:21 , Alex Pattle

Next up, Karriss Artingstall takes on Lila dos Santos Furtado at featherweight!

Artingstall, 29, is a former soldier who has built a 5-0 pro record.

Will the Cheshire fighter stay unbeaten tonight? She wastes no time in making her way to the ring, sporting camouflage-themed gear.

Furtado is all smiles in the opposite corner.

Eight two-minute rounds scheduled here.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Ste Clarke vs Vasif Mamedov

20:16 , Alex Pattle

Lots of chants for Clarke as he gives his first post-fight interview as a pro.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Ste Clarke vs Vasif Mamedov

20:11 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Good roll by Mamedov, who then unfurls a strong left hook. Clarke jabs to the body then follows up with heavy hooks to the head – one left, one right.

Clean left hook to the head by Mamedov! It’s really well timed, but Clarke is unfazed! In fact, the Liverpudlian presses forward now, as if to punish Mamedov for having the audacity to land that shot.

OH! Mamedov turns his back on Clarke and complains of a shot to the back of the head, but the referee doesn’t agree! Clarke seizes the opportunity to pour on some (legal) unanswered shots while Mamedov’s back is turned, and the referee steps in to award him the win!

It seems he deemed that Mamedov didn’t want to keep fighting. That should have been a warning or docked point for Mamedov in my opinion – not necessarily a stoppage.

1:53 is the time of the finish.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Ste Clarke vs Vasif Mamedov

20:06 , Alex Pattle

Round two

A lot of noise from the crowd as Clarke starts the second round on the front foot.

Decent counter left hook by Mamedov, as Clarke gets a bit carried away, perhaps.

Clarke feints upstairs and propels a right cross at the body of Mamedov. A teasing one-two gets through Mamedov’s high guard now.

No set-up for this one: Clarke just lands a clean right hook!

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Ste Clarke vs Vasif Mamedov

20:02 , Alex Pattle

Round one

Good fundamentals from Clarke early on. The hometown favourite is boxing well behind his jab.

Now he curls some hooks around Mamedov’s guard – both upstairs and to the body.

Clean one-two by Clarke! Mamedov replies with a grazing right hook, now a grazing left.

Mamedov’s nose is already sporting clear signs of damage.

More good jabs from Clarke. In the best sense, he looks like a video-game boxer: very pronounced movements and clean technique from him.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Ste Clarke vs Vasif Mamedov

19:57 , Alex Pattle

Next up, Liverpool’s own Ste Clarke makes his professional debut! The 22-year-old reportedly sold 1,000 of tonight’s 7,500 tickets!

He faces off with Vasif Mamedov at middleweight.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Aaron McKenna def. Mickey Ellison

19:51 , Alex Pattle

McKenna stays unbeaten and calls for a bout with Chris Eubank Jr. “If he’s struggling to find a fight...”

It’s ambitious of McKenna, but fair play!

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Aaron McKenna vs Mickey Ellison

19:43 , Alex Pattle

Round six

Ellison seems to be suffering from an injury to his right hand. McKenna gets right after the Englishman.

Ellison’s corner seems poised in case they need to save their fighter here, but he shows them something with some decent jabs.

McKenna lands a one-two to the head and a couple of solid left hooks.

And another! Now he works the body. Ellison is truggling in there...

McKenna lands a series of powerful shots, and the towel comes in!!

2:21 is the time of the stoppage in this sixth round.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Aaron McKenna vs Mickey Ellison

19:40 , Alex Pattle

Round five

Sharp jabs by McKenna early in this round. He’s getting through almost at will.

More good jabs from McKenna, who leans off the centre line to land from an angle now.

Brutal body shots follow from McKenna. Eventually Ellison looks to reverse the position against the ropes.

Ellison with a bigggggg overhand right! McKenna takes the shot well, though.

Lovely head movement from McKenna again. The Irishman follows up with a grazing one-two.

Ellison looks to be tiring, while McKenna is gradually turning up the pressure.

Ellison’s corner are talking to him now, before round six, suggesting that they may pull him from this fight soon...

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Aaron McKenna vs Mickey Ellison

19:36 , Alex Pattle

Round four

A brief battle of the jabs to begin this round, with McKenna having the greater success.

Good right hook by Ellison, though. McKenna misses with a winging right hook of his own, but he soon lands a left.

Ellison throws a teasing uppercut and hook to test McKenna’s guard. McKenna fires back with heavier shots.

Again he has Ellison backed up against the ropes, and he’s unloading a few heavy shots now. He reins it in, though, before backing off.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Aaron McKenna vs Mickey Ellison

19:32 , Alex Pattle

Round three

Ellison comes forward again. Lots of feints from him, but McKenna isn’t biting.

Tidy jab from range by McKenna. Ellison misses with a wild right and left as he surges forward.

McKenna has more success with a one-two to the head. And again. Good head movement from him to evade Ellison’s next combination.

Ellison goes to the well with a few uppercuts but can’t find the mark. McKenna turns up the pressure late in the round, backing Ellison up against the ropes.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Aaron McKenna vs Mickey Ellison

19:28 , Alex Pattle

Round two

McKenna presses forward carefully. Quickfire one-two from him, as Ellison looks to come forward now.

Ellison, a short-notice opponent here, catches McKenna on the end of his jab. McKenna returns fire by targeting the body of Ellison.

Ellison with a decent spell on the front foot here. Nice jab to the body by him, but McKenna replies with another one-two to the head.

Ellison attacks the body of McKenna again with some crosses from range; he’s lacking a bit of accuracy but does land at close range in the final moments of the round.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Aaron McKenna vs Mickey Ellison

19:24 , Alex Pattle

Round one

Both men stand orthodox. McKenna flicks out his jab early, while Ellison tries a couple of one-two combinations to test his opponent’s guard.

Ellison eventually gets through with a right cross upstairs, before missing with a couple to the body. McKenna comes back with some decent jabs upstairs.

Ellison lands a pair of hooks to the body, though they’re quite laboured, it must be said; McKenna is the quicker puncher in there.

Ellison with his own jab now, then a grazing uppercut. Oh! Another uppercut, stiffer this time, through Ellison’s guard! McKenna’s corner loves that.

Ellison misses wildly with a left hook to end the round.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Aaron McKenna vs Mickey Ellison

19:19 , Alex Pattle

We kick things off with a middleweight bout between Aaron McKenna and Mickey Ellison!

Ten three-minute rounds scheduled here.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Main-event preview

19:13 , Alex Pattle

Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer feels like a Rubik’s Cube of a fight. Perhaps it will feel like that kind of frustrating, disorientating undertaking to the boxers tonight; either way, it feels like that from the other side of the ropes, while attempting to break down the contest.

In one corner will be Liverpool’s own Jonas, greeted by a hometown crowd. In the other will be Mayer, having crossed the pond for the fourth time in as many fights. Every roar from the stands and the floor may prove crucial to Jonas if the bout reaches the final bell and the judges are needed. Her American opponent, meanwhile, will look to wrest away the IBF welterweight title in enemy territory.

Then there is the matter of experience, age, or both: At 39, Jonas has less in front of her than 33-year-old Mayer but also more behind her to draw upon. An Olympic veteran, Jonas stuck through the sport through “horrible times”, as she admitted to The Independent, to finally achieve her world-title dream at the third time of asking. On a fateful February night in 2022, the Briton battered Chris Namus to become a world champion at super-welterweight.

Before the end of the year, she had collected two more belts in the division, before dropping down in weight to become a two-division champion. All of this, eight years after she retired from boxing.

Read our full main-event preview, right here:

Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer on the risks that are changing women’s boxing

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Sean Strickland belittles women’s combat sports

19:09 , Alex Pattle

On the topic of the UFC, one half of tonight’s main event had some choice words for women’s MMA this week.

Sean Strickland, who defends the middleweight title versus Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297, launched a derisive attack on the women’s side of the sport.

Here’s what the controversial American had to say:

Sean Strickland launches derisive attack on women’s MMA ahead of UFC 297

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: More fights later tonight at UFC 297

19:06 , Alex Pattle

If you’re also a fan of MMA, don’t forget to follow our live updates from UFC 297 tonight.

Below is all you need to know about the fight card – from the story behind Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis in the main event, to TV details, timings and odds:

How to watch UFC 297 online and on TV tonight

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Main card under way!

19:03 , Alex Pattle

The main card is upon us! Our round-by round updates will begin shortly.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Meet tonight’s ring announcer, Big Mo...

18:59 , Alex Pattle

The MC for tonight’s event in Liverpool is Kody “Big Mo” Mommaerts, who was a pleasure to speak to back in October.

I talked to the American about his status as the youngest ring announcer in top-level boxing, as well as how he goes about ramping up the excitement – not just for the fans in the arena, but also those watching on TV.

“I fully embrace how ridiculous my job is,” Kody Mommaerts smiled, his whitened grin stretching as wide as a face could allow.

Read what he had to say, as well as the thoughts of a few boxers on what makes ring announcers so important to the sport, right here:

Let’s get ready to rumble! Inside the ropes with boxing’s ring MCs

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Odds for tonight’s main event

18:57 , Alex Pattle

Jonas – 4/6

Mayer – 5/4

Draw – 14/1

Via Betway.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Elsewhere in boxing – Hearn vs Warren official?!

18:55 , Alex Pattle

Turki Al-Sheikh hurled the idea down from the mezzanine, through the air and onto the stage. “I want to see Eddie Hearn vs Frank Warren – five on five!” Three days later, that idea was inked.

And so, the staggering speed at which Saudi Arabia is making fights quickens again. Al-Sheikh, who is at the helm of the state’s vociferous venture into boxing, verbalised the suggestion on Monday, at the London press conference for Anthony Joshua’s upcoming bout with Francis Ngannou in Riyadh. By Thursday, Warren and Hearn were photographed signing contracts for a Matchroom vs Queensberry fight card– both smiling but both looking slightly bewildered, it must be said.

Each promoter will pick five fighters to square off with the other’s on a unique card, the date of which will be revealed on 8 March, when Joshua boxes ex-UFC champion Ngannou. It is an understandably unprecedented move; why would a promoter risk their reputation and/or company’s brand by directly pitting such a percentage of its roster against another’s? Well, ‘to make a significant amount of money’ is the only answer, and never has such an amount of money been on tap until now.

It is a fun exercise to predict and suggest which boxers might be chosen by Hearn and Warren. It has not yet been announced which weight classes will be featured at the event, but Indy Sport will choose five different divisions. So, without further ado...

Fantasy booking the Matchroom vs Queensberry fight card in Saudi Arabia

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Elsewhere in boxing – Joshua’s notes and Ngannou’s scary handshake

18:50 , Alex Pattle

Earlier this week, Indy Sport went backstage at the press conference for Anthony Joshua’s March showdown with ex-UFC champ Francis Ngannou.

We documented the details you didn’t see: from Joshua’s personal notes on his phone, to the scary edge to Ngannou’s handshake... and much more!

Read our behind-the-scenes piece here:

Anthony Joshua’s notes, a scary Francis Ngannou handshake: The details you didn’t see

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: American pushed for 12 three-minute rounds

18:44 , Alex Pattle

Tonight’s main event will play out across 10 two-minute rounds – unless we see a stoppage.

At November’s press conference for the bout, Mayer made the point that she would have preferred 12 three-minute rounds, as is typical in men’s title fights.

Here’s what she said, and how Jonas and promoter Ben Shalom responded:

Mikaela Mayer pushes for three-minute rounds in Natasha Jonas clash

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Alycia Baumgardner cleared of intentional doping

18:39 , Alex Pattle

In other news from the women’s side of the sport this week:

Alycia Baumgardner has been cleared of ‘intentionally’ taking a banned substance, after the American returned an ‘adverse’ drug-test result last year.

Baumgardner, who became undisputed super-featherweight champion with a win over Mayer in 2022, tested positive for mesterolone just days before her win over Christina Linardatou last July. She has not fought since.

After news emerged of her failed test, the 29-year-old quickly took to social media to maintain her innocence, and the World Boxing Council (WBC) has now issued a statement on the matter.

To read the WBC’s statement, as well as what Baumgardner had to say this week, click on the article below:

Alycia Baumgardner found not guilty of ‘intentionally’ taking banned substance

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Is it okay to to keep saying ‘women’s boxing’?

18:37 , Alex Pattle

When I interviewed Mikaela Mayer at November’s launch press conference for tonight’s fight, I half-apologised for repeatedly using the term “women’s boxing”.

But in the American’s opinion, there’s no need to feel guilty about differentiating women’s boxing from men’s, despite the growth of her side of the sport in recent times.

“I don’t mind, because we’ve got our own story, right?” she told The Independent at the time.

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Fight preview featuring interviews with tonight’s key players

18:32 , Alex Pattle

Ahead of tonight’s main event, I spoke to Jonas, Mayer, and Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom about the fight.

Here are a few snippets from our full preview, which you can find at the bottom of this post...

Mayer: “We have to [take these risks]. We don’t have the privilege of sitting back and collecting one big cheque. We haven’t had the opportunity or platform. We still have to prove to a lot of people that we belong in this sport, and that starts with making fights that fans want to see and winning them over. We’ve got to hustle a little harder [than the men].”

Jonas: “In 10 years’ time, I would expect those girls’ experiences to be a whole lot different [to ours]. You’ve got Jane Couch, Christy Martin, Laila Ali – all them people who had big moments and performed. There are certain fights where you remember where you were, what you were eating while you were watching! In 10 years’ time, I’d love people to look back and say: ‘I was there.’”

Shalom: “It’s not just, ‘Let’s push it for equality purposes,’ which is a reason in itself. I think it’s an iconic fight, two stars that we didn’t expect to see in the ring together, and we think a healthy and growing women’s side of the sport is so unbelievably powerful for boxing itself. When we first came in and headlined with Savannah Marshall, a few eyebrows were raised. The fact that we announced this as our first show of the year and no one batted an eyelid, the growth has been incredible.”

Full preview:

Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer on the risks that are changing women’s boxing

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: How to watch fight tonight

18:23 , Alex Pattle

In the UK, the event will air live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm GMT (12pm PT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET) and Sky Sports Main Event from 8pm GMT (1pm PT, 3pm CT, 4pm ET). It will also stream live on the broadcaster’s Sky Go app.

In the US, the fights will stream live on ESPN+.

More info here:

How to watch Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer online and on TV tonight

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE: Timings and ring walks in UK and US

18:14 , Alex Pattle

The earliest fights are under way as we speak, but the main card is due to begin at 7pm GMT (12pm PT, 2pm CT, 3pm ET) – that’s when our round-by-round updates will begin.

Ring walks for the main event are then expected at 10.30pm GMT (3.30pm PT, 5.30pm CT, 6.30pm ET).

More info here:

What time does Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer start tonight?

Jonas vs Mayer LIVE

17:59 , Alex Pattle

Natasha Jonas and Mikaela Mayer will go head to head in Liverpool tonight, as hometown fighter Jonas defends the IBF welterweight title.

Jonas, an Olympic veteran, finally achieved her world-title dream in 2022, before dropping down to welterweight to become a two-division champion. The 39-year-old will make her first defence of the IBF belt this evening, as Mayer looks to follow Jonas in becoming a two-weight champion.

The American made her UK debut in 2022, losing her unified super-featherweight titles to Alycia Baumgardner, and her two subsequent fights have also come on these shores – and produced better results. Mayer moved up to lightweight to win the WBC interim title last year, before moving up again and securing a victory at super-lightweight.

Now, the 33-year-old returns to the UK and moves up in weight once more to challenge Jonas, in Saturday’s main event at the M&S Bank Arena.