Eddie Hearn seems keen to use Jono Carroll [18(4)-2(0)-1] as the poster boy for what can go wrong for big names taking behind closed doors keep busy fights.
Carroll suffered surprise behind closed doors points defeat to former British title challenger Maxi Hughes [20(4)-5(2)-2] on the first of the #MTKFightNights Wakefield shows earlier this month.
The Dubliner was expected to defeat ‘Maximus’ in a fight that was meant to keep him busy ahead of a return to big time action once crowds are allowed return.
However, King Kong fell foul to the upset , surprisingly slipping on the banana skin just when a world title fight was in sight.
Hearn links the result to the lack of crowd and has more than once used it as an example of what can go wrong for well placed fighters in the current climate.
He harshly argues it’s a disastrous result that means fight fans no longer rate the southpaw.
Speaking on Macklin’s Take, Hearn said: “There is that risk, look at Jono Carroll the other night. Jono Carroll all of a sudden goes from filling out Manchester Arena, beating Scott Quigg, moving into the top 10 in the world and being a bit of star on Sky Sports to getting beat in a studio over 10 rounds. He is doing his post fight interview after and I think it’s kicking in. He is thinking ‘that’s absolutely disastrous’ and that’s the risk right now for fighters boxing and performing in that kind of environment.
“Jono looked like he was sparring. Everyone who watched that fight, whether you want to give him the excuse that he is was behind closed doors, no one rates him anymore, but he is still the same fighter that beat Scott Quigg.”
It wasn’t the ideal result for Carroll, far from it. However, considering his standing as a recent world title challenger, his profile and his talent he could still be just one big win away from a second world title tilt.
It does appear somewhat strange Hearn has name dropped him more than once in a bid to make the behind closed doors point. It’s quite possible he feels it to be the best example, but there have been some suggestions Katie Taylor and James Tennyson’s promoter is somewhat disgruntled, that post his Scott Quigg victory, Carroll was keen to reveal he was not promoted by Matchroom.
There are also suggestions that there may have been a Fight Camp opportunity turned down by the 28-year-old, although knowing Carroll’s big fight mantra that seems unlikely.
There are still big fights out there for the Spain based Dub. John Joe Nevin may not help in terms of progression toward a world title fight, but he is world ranked and more than keen, as is British champion Anthony Cacace. Both would be massive domestic clashes that could bring the all Irish fight to the next level.
Carroll also has the profile to tempt other names into fighting him, especially if they read into his most recent performance and feel he is on the wane. Another silver lining may be a return to underdog status for the energetic operator. Carroll always seems to be at his best when he feels he has something to prove and when the red light comes on over the camera lens.