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Maxi-mum focus – Jono Carroll feeling danger Déjà Vu

Jono Carroll  [20(5)-2(0)-1] feels a dangerous sense of déjà vu heading into his latest ring encouther in Dubai tomorrow.

‘King Kong’ takes on Aelio Mesquita [20(18)-5(4)-1] over eight rounds at the Coca Cola Arena in what looks like a keep busy affair on a Probellum card.

However, the lively Dub is determined to view the fight differently and takes a bigger picture approach.

Carroll is aware that, while it’s not the most difficult test he has taken on, the fight still has massive significance. If the southpaw was to slip on the not so slippery banana skin he would slide down the boxing snake and ruin the ladder-climbing he did by defeating Andy Vences in America earlier this year.

It’s a scenario the former world title challenger found himself in before. Carroll went into a tick-over fight with Maxi Hughes with an impressive high-profile win over Scott Quigg in his back pocket and on the verge of a second tilt only to suffer shock defeat in August 2020.

It’s a reverse he disputes and a setback he has recovered from, working his way into WBA world title pole. However, it’s the kind of setback he doesn’t want to experience again.

“This fight is another one of those Maxi Hughes fights,” Carroll told IFL TV.

“I can’t slip up the weekend. I have to stay focused. After I beat Scott Quigg I was right on the verge of another shot. Quigg had gone the distance with Oscar Valdez and broke his jaw just a year before, so for me to stop Scott Quigg and put him into retirement was huge.

“This fight I’m in a similar position as the position I was going into the Maxi Hughes fight, I can’t take my eye off the ball. I have to stay very focused and treat this like a world title.”

The Hughes defeat is disputed by Carroll, has aged well considering he is now a European Champion and is one that the super featherweight now sees as a positive.

The 29-year-old reveals the result that kick started Hughes career gave him the kick up the rear he needed.

“I believe everything happens for a reason and after the Maxi Hughes defeat, which I thought was a harsh defeat, I changed things. I have taken my boxing to a new level since. Before in camp I was always focused and trained really hard but out of camp I’d eat a load of chocolate and get fat out of camp. I’d come back in heavy and I’d have to focus on losing weight. Now I live the life between camps, so that fight has made me a better fighter and a much more dedicated fighter.”

The Dubliner, who challenged Tevin Farmer for the IBF super featherweight world title in March of 2019, is ranked #2 by the WBA at super feather and is awaiting the winner of champion Roger Gutiérrez’s defence against Chris Colbert.

“If I win this the world title fight could be next. In my head I’m already world champion I just have to go and get the belt,” he explains before suggested he will be better equipped to dethrone the champion this time around.

“When you take away Prizefighter [three fights in one night] I went into the Tevin Farmer fight with 13 bouts. I wasn’t experienced as I would have liked. I have all the knowledge and experience I need. I’m ready to become world champion and take on these world champions.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com