Following on from his thrilling points win over John Quigley in Belfast, Jono Carroll, the newly crowned European super-featherweight Champion spoke to KO Boxing News –
KO – First off Jono, well done on the win. Was it more rewarding winning the title in a tough fight like that, instead of a comfortable points win or early stoppage?
JC – That’s it, I think if I had have stopped him in the 2nd round when I had him down, people would have said “ah well it was a handy fight” and this kind of thing. And if I had won it easy people wouldn’t have appreciated how tough it was to win that European title.
But I knew he was a good fighter with a good record. And I showed a lot in that fight, showed that I have a good chin and a big heart. He caught me with some good shots in there and there was times when I had to really dig in and force the pace and mix it up and adapt in there. Like, we were both hungry, undefeated fighters going in there, so someone’s ‘0’ had to go.
KO – How did you feel doing 12 rounds for the first time in your career?
JC – Do you know what, the 12 rounds didn’t really bother me because I know I have a good engine. Iv done hard rounds in the gym before so I was prepared. And there were times that I was tired and I knew I had to rough it out, but that’s what you do. I was prepared to rough it out for 15 rounds in there if I had to.
You just deal with it round by round and don’t think about the rounds, just try to win each round as they come. Because you never know what will happen in there, you could lose a round or injure your hand and all of a sudden your chasing the fight.
KO – Looking at the fight, it turned into a tear-up at times, was that the game plan going in there?
JC – We had a few game plan’s, one of them was to smother him and be on top of him the whole time and not give him any space, so that was working. Danny Vaughan my trainer, was saying at times to keep my shape and stance, which forced me to box him, and he started having success, so we went back to walking him down, roughing it and throwing feints coming in. So the fight was a learning curve for us.
KO – On fight night you looked pretty big for the weight. Are you still easily able to make Super-Featherweight?
JC – To be honest, im actually making weight too comfortably at the moment, and I have to take my hat off the lads at MTK, they’re looking after me fitness-wise and in terms of diet. And being based over in Spain is helping you know, im eating a lot better, and eating fresh fish and that kind of thing. Even 4 weeks out I was only 3-4 kilos over, where normally I could be 3 kilos over the day before a fight trying to lose the last little bit, so I felt really fresh this time.
KO – And how did the training camp go for this one?
JC – Like, it was actually a long camp, I was training, in the gym just ticking over. In the gym I was training with Tom Stalker and sparring him for a fight he had, and I got a call asking did I want this fight and then it turned into a 6 week camp.
So, because I was already training anyway, my weight was already good, and fight week I could take carbs in and I wasn’t de-hydrated. That’s why I could go the distance and be full of energy on fight night. I was even posting pictures of the big breakfast’s I was having!
KO – Ok, so now that you have the European belt, are you looking to defend it a few times or what’s the plan?
JC – Do you know what, im happy to defend it a few times. If you take my record, 2 years in Australia, I only had a few fights, then I came back home, had the 1 fight in the ‘3 Arena’ and then I had prizefighter, 3 fights in the one night (Jono won prizefighter in 2014),
So if you take all that out, im really inexperienced in the pro ranks, im nearly only 9-0. So I shouldn’t really be doing 10-12 rounders at this stage, but I am, and im able to jump in there with these guys because I’m always working hard in the gym, learning and always improving. So im hungry and im training like im only starting out.
*** Check out Part 2 of our interview with Jono Carroll tomorrow ***