Jono Carroll reveals Smith and Jupp fight offers ahead of Scottish scrap

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Jono Carroll [12(1)-0] takes a slight step up on Saturday night in Scotland, but it could have been so much more.

The Dunshaughlin super featherweight fights on the MGM Scotland ‘Lights Out’ show at the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, live on Boxnation TV, and will face recent Spanish featherweight title challenger Juan Luis Gonzalez [9(3)-3(1)] over eight rounds.

King Kong reveals however that he was ready and willing to scale much bigger heights on the Billy Joe Saunders-topped card, and told Irish-Boxing.com that some offers to big names were made.

Carroll explained that “he [Gonzalez] has a decent enough record, but he wasn’t who we were looking for. We were looking at the likes of George Jupp or Mitchell Smith, that’s what we really wanted. We were looking for a title for this one, but it just didn’t happen. We gave the offer out, and it was for a title, but it just never came around.”

“We ended up getting this fella, nine wins, three losses. I would say it’s a tougher opponent than the last two, but it’s not the standard we want to be fighting at. We were hoping to get a ten rounder in, get a title shot, but that’s just going to have to wait until next year.”

The 24 year old joined MGM at the end of the Summer, and quickly got ten rounds under his belt against journeymen Damian Lawniczak and Simas Volosinas. This, alongside a prolonged period holed up in the gym, leaves Carroll feeling better than ever and he described how “I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and I’m sharper than I’ve ever been after the two fights, even though they weren’t amazing fights, they weren’t amazing fighters, but they got me out there, and it kept me busy. It kind of gave me that hunger. I am a gym rat, I love being in the gym, and boxing is a sport about learning so it doesn’t matter if you’re in the ring sparring or in the ring fighting, you’re always improving, you’re constantly learning. But realistically, I was out of the ring for so long, so it was good to get the fights in and get the cobwebs off.”

Carroll wants the big names as soon as possible, but the soon-to-be father already has an important date at the start of the year, and outlined how “the missus is due in February, so it will be after that. I’ll probably have a little warm-up fight then after and go straight into it before the Summer. But that’s all up to my team, whatever they want me to do, I’ll do straight away. I’d only signed with them four months and they were already looking at getting me a title, it’s good, it’s a big improvement.”

First however, Carroll must deal with the challenged posed by Gonzalez on the outskirts of Glasgow, and the Prizefighter winner is happy to be back out in front of Scottish fight fans. He said that “I love it over here. It’s almost as if they’re Irish, they’re as mad as paint brushes they are. I’ve gotten some great Scottish support. Even at the last fight, it aas in Scotland as well in a different place [Edinburgh], the fans I had was unbelievable. The amount of crazy Scottish people rooting for me, it was almost as if I was fighting in Ireland, it was brilliant, and I’d say I have a bit more of a fanbase as well because after the last fight I was getting added on Facebook by loads of Scottish people. I’ve a few people coming over for this fight as well too from home.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie