The Dublin super featherweight fought to a southpaw stalemate with Frenchman Guillaume Frenois [46(12)-1(0)-1] in Sheffield in an IBF world title final eliminator
A clash to determine a mandatory challenger for the belt currently held by Tevin Farmer, the result leaves a degree of uncertainty.
Philly lefty Farmer defends his title for a second time in quick succession next weekend in New York when he takes on Costa Rican Francisco Fonseca.
A voluntary defence versus the #13-rated boxer with the IBF, Farmer is expected to win handsomely on the Canelo v Rocky Fielding undercard at Madison Square Garden.
Regardless of who wins, the next IBF title fight needs to be a mandatory.
Hearn, who also co-promotes Farmer, is keen for Carroll to be the man in the opposite corner but Frenois is in the driving seat.
As the Frenchman was ranked #3 and Carroll #4, and with no #1 or #2 ranked boxers, Frenois must be offered the title fight first. Should he turn down the offer will pass to Carroll and so on.
Farmer had spoken of his desire to face Carroll next week rather than Fonseca – only for Team Frenois to insist on the final eliminator – and ‘The American Dream’ also remains keen to bring his verbal back-and-forths to the ring despite yesterday’s draw
Matchroom boss Hearn certainly wants the marketable Carroll to face Farmer in a big U.S. East Coast clash next
Speaking after the fight in Sheffield, Hearn said that “it was a brilliant fight, nobody really deserved to lose. it was a very close fight.”
“We’ll speak and see what the IBF want to do from here.” before suggesting his favoured scenario.
“I’ll speak to Mehdi [Lafifi, manager of Frenois] and the IBF, Tevin Farmer is a guy I who want Jono Carroll to fight.”
“Maybe they can both fight him. Maybe Jono can go first in March and then Frenois goes second.”
Another potential scenario, should Frenois be convinced to NOT take on Farmer next, is for both him and Carroll allow the mandatory to pass down the ladder – the next highest-ranked fighter is Tajikistani Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov – and for them to rematch on the undercard with a title shot guaranteed for the winner later in 2019.
With Farmer and Caroll having been involved in a razor-tight fight – and the Irishman perhaps needing some more experience over the twelve-round format – a rematch would be a bout which makes sense from a sporting perspective.
Indeed, Hearn feels his man lost the extremely entertaining contest.
“Hats off to both guys,” said the Englishman. “It was an incredible fight and it was very close.”
“I probably felt, at the end of it, Frenois actually deserved the victory, I said that to Jono – but, but, a very,close fight, it was one round either way.”
“Jono controlled the first half of the fight and Frenois controlled the second half of the fight but I felt Jono came back in the twelfth round.”