Exclusive: Jono Carroll interview before Saturday’s PPV
On Monday, boxer Jono Carroll received a phone call that all young fighters dream of.
He was told that he would be competing on the undercard of Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko’s world heavyweight title clash this Saturday night at a 55,000 capacity stadium in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The unbeaten super-featherweight, who was due to box on December 12th in London, spoke to Fightstore Media about the unexpected call up.
“Conor Mcgregor is constantly calling out for these football pitches and he’s at the pinnacle of his career and me only starting out,” Carroll joked.
“Walking out in front of such a stadium will be amazing especially in just my ninth fight. People used to doubt me when I said I wanted to be a professional boxer and now coming out in front of 55,000 people it’s becoming real.”
Carroll is 23 years old and is as confident as they come. And like the greats before him, Joe Calzaghe springing to mind, he is defined as being a fighter.
“I wake up in the morning and all I think about is boxing and I go to the gym. I just love to fight. That moment walking out, especially in front of 55,000 people, that’s a dream, the whole other world just stops, its put on pause. You’re caught in that moment and that’s what boxing’s all about. Those butterflies are a buzz for me, I get a thrill out of it and that’s why I box. I train hard in the gym so the fights are easy and I can take in the crowd and enjoy the moment,” Carroll said.
The Dubliner has had a rapid rise in the sweet science. In 2014 he defeated highly rated Declan Geraghty and he followed that up by winning Prizefighter.
“The bigger the opponent and the bigger the stage, the better I perform. I was 11 months off before I fought him (Geraghty). I had two fights in two years in Australia so I wasn’t sharp. He was after having five or six fights. I knew my sharpness wouldn’t be there so it made me that bit hungrier. When opportunities come you have to grab them with both hands in this sport.”
He continued: “That’s why I didn’t mind taking this fight. I got the phone call Monday so just a week’s notice, I stay ready constantly.”
Carroll is a student of the sport and when talking about Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, his voice was enthused and inspired.
“Growing up I watched Muhammad Ali, I love his showmanship. Outside of boxing he was an amazing man not just a boxer. Mike Tyson too, I like his aggressive style. They’re two totally different styles but my Dad trained me to do both from a young age. Sometimes I mix both of them up in the same combination. I’ll start with a double jab then begin walking in like Tyson.”
More modern day pugilists are also appreciated by Carroll.
He said: “But I also like the hit and not get hit from Mayweather, people may say it’s boring but he’s done what he had to do to be the best and he’s earning that money for a reason. He’s brilliant at what he does but I do like Arturo Gatti, Micky Ward sort of stuff as well. That’s what makes me want to do boxing. I don’t want to take the punishment they took but I love watching it, it’s exciting and that’s what boxing’s about, putting on a show.”
Jono Carroll will have thousands of new eyes examining his performance on Saturday. What can they expect from the southpaw?
“I can do it all, fight or box, it depends on the night, I never know what to expect from me but I can guarantee you it’s going to be better than any fight you have seen me in. I’m improving every day and this is all I do now. Before when I was in Australia I was working doing scaffolding, painting, lots of jobs and trying to get to the gym. Now I just solely focus on the boxing so I’m getting better and better every day.”
Carroll’s eagerness to fight and intelligence for boxing is evident. And like all up and comers, he has a plan of one day being a world champion.
“Give me three years and I will have a world title, 100%. I can see the European title coming in two years and as soon as I get that I’m going straight for the world. Nothing will stop me then. I’m going to make sure I’m ready; I don’t want to get to world level and then drop short on that little lack of experience. I want to go in and smash these fellas for a world title and knock them out and be impressive. I will get there, there’s no doubt in my mind. Paschal is trying to hold me back almost because I just want to get out there but that’s what my team is for,” he confirmed.
Speaking of his trainer Paschal Collins and the Celtic Warriors Gym, Carroll said:
“I’m getting in with the likes of Terry Flanagan and Stephen Ormond so whoever I face on Saturday I’m not worried about. There’s no way he will be world title level. The way I rate myself now with the guys I’m sparring, all these lads with 14 fights don’t bother me.”
Carroll added: “We have so many people coming in that gym all the time. You don’t know who will walk in that door next. I was just training one day and a nine time Irish champion walked in and we had a great spar. They come to us, we don’t have to travel to them.”
Be sure to catch Jono Carroll on Saturday night’s Sky Sports PPV show before Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko take center stage.
Keep track of Jono Carroll’s career via twitter – @jono_carroll