Jono Carroll returned to winning ways in Spain on Saturday night.
Having slipped on the banana skin that was Maxi Hughes last summer ‘King Kong’ was in need of a get back on track win – and is secured it in the country of his residence.
The Dub took on Romic Airapetean on a bill at the Clue Sga Heredia in Malaga.
Carroll was dominant against the previously undefeated Moldovan and eventually secured a fifth-round stoppage win.
The victory, albeit against a foe he would be expected to defeat, will help put the vibrant southpaw back in an exciting super featherweight conversation.
He’s not quite in the position he was post his Scott Quigg win but the former world champion still holds high 134lbs hopes and does have enough profile and credit in the bank to move directly into a sizeable fight.
The Spain-based southpaw still feels he has options at 130lbs and speaking in February name-dropped Carl Frampton and Jojo Diaz in particular.
Some wins may have to be banked to make Carroll tempting to Irish fight legend Frampton and world champion Diaz.
However, the 28-year-old is excited about the in-between fights that are out there in the division.
“It’s very exciting times for me now. Nevermind the champions all them, all the lads in the top 15 would be very good fights for me. The 130lbs division is an exciting division and I am happy to be in it.”
It’s pure positivity from the Finglas native, who now looks at the Hughes defeat as a plus.
“I am back hungry and it’s given me that fire in my belly that I had before the Quigg fight. It regenerated my career I believe. Other people might not see it like that, but I always think on the positive side of things. I’m young, I’m hungry and I believe I will get those world titles.”
Carroll wasn’t looking for excuses but did admit he was distracted and somewhat caught up in the hype after he dismantled former world champion, Scott Quigg.
The vibrant character also claimed the lack of a ‘fear factor’ or big fight feel may have affected his performance in Dubai.
“I just like being in against good people because that little bit of fear always pushes me to the next level. Every time I have had a hard fight I have shown up.”
Before the Hughes reverse Carroll was name-dropping Carl Frampton, who could become Ireland’s first three weight world champion if he beats Jamel Herring later this month.
The former world title challenger says it’s a fight he still wants.
“I’d love the Carl Frampton fight. Win lose or draw [against Herring] I’d like that fight purely because I respect Carl. I’d love to share the ring with Carl. The Dublin Belfast thing would be a barnburner and a half. I just really like Carl and I’d love the experience of sharing the ring with him and test myself against a fighter of that experience,” he adds before mentioning another fighter he’d love to share the ring with.
“I would love to fight JoJo Diaz, he’s a beast, there are so many big names out there for me now.”
The win see’s Carroll improve to 19-2-1 with five knockouts while Airapetean slips to 9-1.