Jono Carroll’s rise up the prospect ladder hasn’t been typical, indeed it’s a two fingers up to the ‘stepping stone’ and ‘levels’ approach managers love to preach about.
Not vaunted as a ‘one to watch’ when he turned over in Australia, the Dubliner wasn’t a name known to the most hardened of Irish fight fans when he was announced as Declan Geraghty’s opponent for the Return of the Mack card.
However, he has come from nowhere to become a future hope for Irish boxing. A fight on another massive World title card in America awaits not long after he impressed on the massive Wladimir Klitschko versus Tyson Fury World card in Germany last November.
It has proven a somewhat meteoric rise for a fighter with less than 10 fights, but Carroll is adamant his increase in fortune is not down to luck, but guts. The 23 year old Celtic Gym Warrior takes a no guts no glory approach to the game, has taken risks and is now reaping the rewards.
Victory over Geraghty in a sensationally entertaining clash that some claimed Carroll was mad to take, secured him a shot on Prizefighter after just three fights. Winning that tournament secured him a Matchroom contract and he has since had fights on cards topped by names like Josh Warrington, Scott Quigg and Tyson Fury.
In keeping with that risk-taking approach, Carroll accepted a 10 round fight over breakfast on the morning of his fight in Germany with Miguel Gonzalez last time out – and it seems to have presented him with another opportunity ahead of schedule.
The talkative southpaw could be afforded a title shot on the undercard of Gary Russell Jr and stable mate Patrick Hyland’s WBC featherweight title fight on April 16.
“I don’t do small hall shows anymore!” Carroll joked when speaking to Irish-boxing.com.
“My second fight in Australia was on a big enough card, now that I think of it and then I come home and I am the Macklin undercard in the 3Arena, then Prizefighter, throw in the Tyson Fury Klitschko card and I am doing alright.
“I did 10 rounds, by accident albeit, in Germany, but you take these opportunities when they come to you and now the titles are coming. I know they are coming this year, you never know it could be the next one. I’ll keep you posted! I know the lads are trying their best to get me a shot we all know I am ready,” he continued.
“I am looking the big picture that is the reason I took the 10 rounds. It meant more time for me to show my skills. That is how I looked at it. I think it shows my attitude to the sport too. I was literally eating breakfast and Pascal said they want you to do a ten rounder and I just agreed to it. I am confident so I didn’t see them as risk, but I don’t think I have been afraid to take chances, in fact I jumped at any opportunity that came my way.”
Carroll looks set to be fighting for a just the tenth time – and three of those ten came in the one night – on a massive card broadcast around the world on April 16.
There is a suggestion Sky Sports have asked for him to feature so they have a familiar face for their regular audience to associate with on a card where Stephen Smith will challenge for a World title – which means Carroll is guaranteed TV – and the amount of exposure that provides isn’t wasted on him.
“You can’t beat the exposure you get fighting on big cards. It’s nice to fight at home and don’t get me wrong I want that more than anything, but these cards help you build a profile Worldwide. If we are on the Pajo card it is a card that will be broadcast around the globe,” before he discussed the experience of appearing on big cards.
“When I walked out for the Klitschko card I was expecting to be scared just because of the occasion, but something happens inside me where I start to enjoy it instead. I use any extra pressure I can to perform.”