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NO REMATCH – Team Frenois clear path for Jono Carroll World Title challenge

Jono Carroll [16(3)-0-1] won’t have to rematch Guillaume Frenois [46(12)-1(0)-1] to secure a shot at the IBF super featherweight title according to the Frenchman’s team.

Indeed, Frenois’ manager claims both participants in Satuday’s world title final eliminator will get a shot at the title currently held by Tevin Farmer – who makes his second defence against Francisco Fonseca this Saturday at Madison Square Garden on the same card as Katie Taylor’s clash with Eva Wahlstrom.

After the Irish and French fighter drew in Sheffield on Saturday night mandatory status for the world crown seemed up in the air.

It was unsure as to whether or not the pair would have to do it all again before securing a shot, but Mehdi Lafifi, the manager of Frenois, claims both will fight for the title in 2019. 

The only thing to be sorted out is who goes first.

As he is ranked higher, Frenois must be offered the fight first but it was suggested that he may agree to allow Carroll first shot with a guaranteed fight for himself afterwards.

Also suggested was that both southpaws allow the pending mandatory pass down the ladder and instead rematch with a view to the winner challenging later in the year.

A rematch, though, has been ruled out by Lafifi who anticipates that both men will challenge for the red belt at 130lbs in 2019.

Theoretically, Frenois could have simply taken the shot – leaving it up to the Irishman and his team to ensure that they are the highest-ranked fighter with the IBF when the next mandatory rolled around – or hope that Farmer, Frenois, or, Fonseca, whoever is champion after March, picks him for a voluntary.

Thankfully though, this is not the case, with Team Frenois committed to working with Carroll and Farmer’s common promoter Eddie Hearn.

“The two men will not meet again” Lafifi told L’Equipe before revealing that he is currently in negotiations with Hearn.

The French fight boss described how “they deserve to face the IBF champion, the American Tevin Farmer.”

“By mutual agreement with Carroll promoter Eddie Hearn, they will both have a chance, but I do not know who first.”

Matchroom boss Hearn had suggested as much after the entertaining fight on Saturday night.

“We’ll speak and see what the IBF want to do from here.” Hearn said before suggesting his favoured scenario.

“I’ll speak to Mehdi and the IBF, Tevin Farmer is a guy I who want Jono Carroll to fight.”

“Maybe they can both fight him. Maybe Jono can go first in March and then Frenois goes second.”

With Farmer, assuming he defeats Fonseca on Saturday, keen on facing Carroll in March, it would seem to make sense for ‘King Kong’ to challenge first.

The marketable Dub would no doubt go down a storm on the U.S. East Coast, especially on a St Patrick’s Day card.

If this is the plan, Frenois may perhaps be tempted with step-aside money for allowing the 26-year-old to go first.

Speaking of the fight itself, veteran Frenois felt he won and should have got the decision – but is not surprised with the final cards.

“At first, it was tight. But, from the fourth or fifth round, I boxed as I know how to, using my movement against him.”

“I do not understand the decision but in England, a draw is synonymous with victory.”


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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com