Dublin’s Carroll [16(3)-0-1] fought to a draw with Frenchman Guillaume Frenois [46(12)-1(0)-1] in a final eliminator at the Sheffield Arena tonight.
A fight with Farmer [27(6)-4(2)-1] was on the line and the Philly champ and Carroll had been exchanging plenty of trash talk over the past three months.
Recent European champion Frenois, however, potentially threw a spanner in the works with a smart performance where he tagged the relentless Carroll enough to prevent the Irishman winning – and, indeed, had certain sections of the media believing it was he who deserved the nod.
The final result in Steel City was a split draw, with both fighters taking a 115-113 verdict and the remaining card reading 114-114.
An IBF mandatory title fight is due early next year and the winner of tonight’s fight was due to fight the winner of next weekend’s title defence from Farmer against Costa Rican Francisco Fonseca.
Following the draw, IBF #3 Frenois, on paper, is in pole position due to being the highest-ranked fighter with the organisation [slots #1 and #2 are vacant] and must be offered the fight first.
However, #4 Carroll and champion Farmer’s common promoter, Eddie Hearn, indicated that he wants ‘King Kong’ to challenge first for the belt, which most assume Farmer will retain next week, and then have Frenois be guaranteed an immediate shot afterwards.
Whether the Frenchman and his team will agree to ‘refuse’ the title fight offer to allow it drop down to Carroll under this guarantee remains to be seen.
Farmer is especially keen to face Carroll despite the draw and posted a message to social media tonight following the conclusion of the entertaining twelve-rounder.
— TEVIN FARMER (@TevinFarmer22) December 8, 2018
‘The American Dream’ said “hey, Jono Carroll, you talked all that fucking trash and you got a draw.”
“You won’t be getting the paycheque you were looking for in March, we’re sorry, now you’re going to get what we give you, I’ll still fight you.”
“So you still have a fight there in March, I’m going to beat your ass.”
Of course, as the fight would be a mandatory title defence, the purse split would be set at 75-25 in favour of Farmer regardless of tonight’s result.