On fire Jono Carroll grabbed the torch from Scott Quigg as promised, blazing his way to sensational victory to light a fire under his career.
‘King Kong’ beat his chest on the main stage registering a win that should propel him toward a second world title shot.
‘Big Mouth’ – as Quigg called him throughout the build – backed up all the talk to prove it was as he promised ‘his time’.
The 27-year-old southpaw make a mockery of the 50/50 status the fight had by dominating from start to 11th round finish.
The punch perfect fighter looked ready to make the most of the stage and platform from the second the first note of his ring walk dropped.
The southpaw swaggered his way to the ring, beaming with a bearded smile, ready to perform. That swagger remained throughout the fight as he outclassed the former world champion. He now struts up the boxing ladder after registering a career-best performance and victory.
The 27-year-old’s bill-topping win will not just boost his profile but will increase his world title chances.
Carroll started the bout which had the trade buzzing, brilliantly. He looked sharp behind a southpaw jab and landed some crafty backhands.
One uppercut in particular stood out as did the body work. The Dubliner’s footwork also impressed and meant Quigg didn’t land anything of note.
The Bury fighter had more about him in the second. He pressured with his feet, but usual buzzsaw Carroll was content on the back foot and, despite taking two right hands, boxed his way to another round.
Quigg, who failed to get going the last time he fought Irish opposition at tonight’s venue – Carl Frampton in 2016 – tried to move up a gear in the third, but Carroll was comfortable under the extra pressure.
He showed superior skill and began to look a class apart. Quigg couldn’t cope with Carroll’s angles and handspeed – and, if possible, Carroll began to enjoy himself that bit more.
By the time the fourth was done Carroll’s eight round stoppage prediction looked a real possibility. The Irish fighter wasn’t buzzing the Bury brawler, but was dominant and was frustrating the former world champion.
The variety was again impressive, but there was an obvious attempt to increase the volume of body punches.
Carroll continued to make a mockery of the odds as the fifth progressed. The southpaw was landing at will and showing brilliant accuracy. Indeed, the fighter known for his work rate and enthusiasm was beginning to look like a real sweet science expert.
The Dunshaughlin dynamo explored pushing for the stoppage early in the sixth, but in fairness to Joe Gallagher trained fighter he bit down on the gum shield and never really looked overly hurt.
However, by the end of the stanza, the more compassionate in the crowd may have started to call for the former Freddie Roach fighter to be pulled out.
Carroll was accurate, wasted nothing, couldn’t be caught, showed great variety, and was also impressive in terms of volume.
That shot selection and rhythm continued through the seventh and Carroll was making Quigg look like a shot fighter at just 31 years old.
Carroll didn’t manage to secure the stoppage in the round he predicted. He did dominate the eighth and landed a big shot at the end of the round, but his foe was still standing come the end of the three minutes.
Calls for Quigg to be pulled out increased during the ninth. To his credit, the Englishman wasn’t never going to quit and Carroll didn’t look like stopping him with one big shot. It looked as if the towel should come in or Carroll should go for a volume stoppage and take the wounded prey out of its misery.
After his corner threatened to end it between the ninth and tenth Quigg did push forward in the next round, but again the Dublin end of what was meant to be a 50/50 was just too slick. In fact, he was levels above.
The stoppage finally came in the penultimate round. Carroll hurt his opponent with a left hand, pilled on the pressure and Quigg’s corner eventually put him out of his misery.