Jono Carroll [13(1)-0] was the most excited man in the Castle Court Shopping Centre today at the ‘Battle of Belfast’ public workouts
Ever since the lead-up to the Declan Geraghty fight way back in November 2014, there had been a star quality about Carroll. A subsequent Prizefighter win seemed to leave him ready for the big leagues, but his career would stutter.
Now with MTK, Carroll is just days away from a big fight on BoxNation this Saturday.
The Dunshaughlin super feather takes on Scouser Johnny Quigley [14(3)-0] for the IBF East/West Europe title at the Waterfront Hall, and it is the stage he has craved throughout all his time in the boxing wilderness, fighting on undercards up and down Britain.
Working up a sweat, unlike most, at the public workout, shouting to the onlooking crowd, Carroll is enjoying himself in the spotlight.
“This is what it’s all about,” he told Irish-Boxing.com. “I don’t do all this hard training for nothing.”
“I’ve been feeling good all week. You’ve got to enjoy these times. Boxing is about big fights, exciting fights, and that’s what I believe this fight is going to be.”
“I’m happy to be involved in a big fight like this, this is what I’m in the game for.”
It’s a homecoming for Carroll who has not fought in Ireland since that upset win over Geraghty, and the King Kong massive will be out in force on Saturday.
The charismatic puncher proudly stated that “I know for certain there’s over 170 people coming, and that’s without all the VIPs and stuff like that. And then you have Steven Ormond’s crowd coming up, obviously they’ll be all cheering for me too.”
“There’ll be a massive crowd there, it’s going to be great, there’s going to be some serious atmosphere.”
In Quigley he faces an awkward southpaw who is coming to win and kick-start his promising career. Carroll however is not looking at the fight as the be-all and end-all.
Instead he explains that “this is all baby-steps to where I want to get, where I want to be at.”
“I’m looking at being a World champion, this is just going to be another stepping stone, another experience and I’m just going to enjoy the whole experience and keep moving forward.”
“I’m not really thinking about the belt, I don’t really care about that. I’m more excited to do the twelve rounds because it’ll be my first time doing twelve rounds.”
On that note, Carroll revealed that he has already won one of the preliminary skirmishes with the Englishman.
The Marbella-based Irishman revealed that “I know his team wanted to drop it down to ten there last week so that just goes to show me their mindframe, that shows me his confidence. I said ‘I want twelve rounds, we agreed twelve rounds in the first place.'”
Not that it will necessarily go the full twelve. Carroll has just one knockout, although has faced an exceedingly high level of opposition, but he is feeling powerful going into this coming fight.
Carroll described how “I’m much stronger now, I’m 25 now. I’ve noticed it on pads, I’ve noticed it on bags, I’m even having to wrap my hands more because my knuckles are getting sore hitting bags.”
“Everyone I’ve sparred, and I’ve sparred some really good lads coming up to this, and two of them said that I hurt them – and they were a few weights heavier than me.”
“That gives me confidence in myself. If I can do that to them, Johnny Quigley’s in for a fright when he gets hit with an eight ounce glove.”
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: