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Jono Carroll warns Olympic champ ahead of interim world title fight

Albert Batyrgaziev’s Olympic gold medal won’t keep him afloat when he is dragged into deep waters this Friday warns Jono Carroll

Dubliner, Carroll fights the rising Russian for the vacant WBA super featherweight interim world title on the IBA Champions’ Night in Serpukhov and travels to the lion’s den full of the exuberance and confidence he’s famed for.

The 32-year-old former Prizefighter winner says he has nothing to fear when it comes to the Tokyo podium topper and is promising to spoil Al Ba’s coming out party this weekend. ‘King Kong’ has no issue admitting Batyrgaziev is a talented boxer but he claims you need more than skills to pay the bills in pro boxing. 

The former IBF world title challenger says experience counts for a lot in the vestless side of the sport – and with that in mind, he wonders if Friday night’s home favourite has the seasoning needed to claim the level of title on offer considering he had just 10 pro bouts. 

“Everybody starts with an undefeated record,” said Carroll. “So even though he’s won the Olympics and everything else, he’s not a seasoned professional yet.

“I’ve proven myself in the 10 or 12 rounds stage, I’ve proven myself at world level stage, so now it’s his time to prove it.

“It’s going to be very hard to get the decision, but I believe I can do it convincingly enough and to be honest, he’s never been in the ring with someone like me.”

Carroll has been handed somewhat of a raw deal in having to travel to Russia to fight such a fancied prospect for the ‘interim’ title, especially considering he was made mandatory for American Lamont Roach, the WBA full title holder, who recently enjoyed a successful defence over Tyrone’s Feargal McCrory. 

However, the all-action southpaw, who holds wins over the likes of Declan Geraghty and Scott Quigg hasn’t moaned and has been full of life and confidence in Russia throughout fight week. 
The former Matchroom fighter says he’ll bring the first pro fighter to win Olympic gold into new territory and is sure the Russian won’t be able to adapt or survive.    

“I’m looking to take him into deep, deep waters and then drown him in them later rounds,” Carroll continued predicting the 10-0 fighters’ doom. 

“I fought Stephen Foster in my fourth professional fight, who was a seasoned professional – he’s never fought somebody like Foster in his first 10 fights, never mind my level,” he adds before reiterating the pre-fight narrative counts for nothing once the first bell rings. 

“Just because we’re in your hometown, and you’re the Olympic champion – the best of luck to you, but I ain’t coming here to roll over. I’m a prizefighter, so, show me the money and I’m showing up there 100% ready to take his head off.”

Carroll knows, as a fighter who hasn’t suffered a reverse, Batyrgaziev will come to the fight full of confidence, although he hints it may be a false self-belief as it’s been nurtured against boxers, not of the calibre of the charismatic Dub. 

“I’ve already tasted defeat, if anything, tasting defeat is a bit of victory, it’s like you learn a lot from it but at the same time, it’s still hard to peel the skin off.

“The most important thing is that you learn from your defeats, he’s still young enough, he still hasn’t had that experience, but I’m hoping to be the one to give him that experience.

“You don’t know what you’re capable of doing unless you’ve been put in the situation before. Everyone else he’s fought, he’s had it all his own way – he’s not going to have that with me.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years