Press conferences to unveil a card are normally a rather tepid affair.
The fights are weeks away, the hard training may not be in gear yet, the diets haven’t taken their toll, and opponents invariably do not know enough about each other to let the trash talk flow.
This was pretty much the case today at the Clayton Hotel in Belfast during the BoxNation press conference to kick off promotion of their June 17th card at the Waterfront Hall – apart for one slightly spicy exception.
Prizefighter winner Jono Carroll [13(1)-0] fights for the first belt of his career on the bill, taking on Liverpudlian Johnny Quigley [14(3)-0] in a battle of the MTK southpaws for the IBF European super featherweight title.
John Rawling would introduce the pair, noting how the evenly-matched fight was one which sold itself and did not require trash talk. The two fighters would go about the press conference formalities in this vein, before Quigley said something which seemed to click a switch in the head of Carroll.
Just as his time on the mic was coming to a close, the English boxer described how “we’ve both got very different styles, but styles make fights and my style will be the right one to win.”
Rawling would move to ask Carroll a question, but ‘King Kong’ would cut across.
“Just one thing,” Carroll piped up.
“He says ‘his style’ – I have plenty of styles. My dad thought me as a kid growing up – ‘if you’re a one dimensional fighter, then you’re a beatable fighter'”
“I’m not saying he’s a one-dimensional fighter, I’ve never seen him fight, but I can do it all, every single thing. I’ve been thought since I was a baby – how to box, how to fight, how to take it to the trenches – anything he wants to do, we can do, and I’m sure I’ll come out the best in every single department.”
It was a welcome return to centre stage for the charismatic Dunshaughlin boxer who noted that the fight next month will be just his second pro contest in Ireland.
His only other one? An all-Irish clash with Deco Geraghty back in November 2014. Here Carroll was brought in as a largely-unknown ‘opponent,’ but would turn the tables with some mental warfare beforehand which many noted got under the skin of Geraghty and contributed to the Dubliner being dragged into a war and being eventually disqualified from what was the 2014 Irish Fight of the Year.
Carroll has shown before that he can definitely build a fight, and expect to see some more words exchanged between now and June 17th.
Alongside Carroll-Quigley, the bill next month features Jamie Conlan, Steven Ward, Lewis Crocker, and WBO European title fights for Paddy Barnes and Steve Ormond against Silveau Oltneau and Craig Evans respectively.
Tickets for the night cost £30, £40, £60, and £150, and are available from the boxers involved.
LISTEN: Mick Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show