'King Kong' couldn't conquer IBF super-featherweight champion Tevin Farmer (29-4-1, 6KOs) in their Friday night fight at Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on March 15
Jono Carroll (16-1-1, 3KOs) was stubborn and sedulous in a battle of southpaws that went back and forth right up to the final bell, scored at 117-111 twice and 117-110 for Farmer.
Farmer extended his impressive winning streak to 22 consecutive contests, with his last loss coming seven years ago.
“I didn’t slow down, he was doing good work to the body,” Farmer said. “I hurt my right hand in the fourth round. I don’t think it’s that serious.
“It felt great coming from where I came from. I started boxing when I was 19 and there were a lot of guys who could have done what I’m doing. I’m grateful I have a team around me to make this happen at home for me.”
Farmer came out the aggressor in the first round, working behind the jab but Carroll closed the round with a flurry and a few choice comments as the bell ended the first.
Carroll connected with the more effective punches in the opener and he carried that confidence into the second stanza, working the body of the champion. The Irishman closed with a right uppercut and appeared to have the uper hand n his first ever world title fight.
The warring pair met in the middle to kick of the third segment, with the challenger appearing to get the better of the exchanges, again effectively working to the body. But Farmer turned the tide when he connected with a thudding right uppercut that caught Carroll’s attention, who finished the round cut and bloodied.
In the fourth, Farmer opted to box clever and create some room away from Carroll's crowding tactics, using his jab. Carroll pressed forward, regardless, until another strong shot slowed him down aga'n and he was forced to rethink his gun-ho tactics in respect of the power coming back at him.
Farmer clawed his way back into the fight during the fifth and sixth rounds and was beginning to really come on strong in his home city.
Carroll was busier in the seventh stanza, but was still getting caught by the 'American Idol's' power punches.
In the eighth, Farmer relied upon his right uppercut, which was by far the most successful shot of the fight. Carroll continued to throw more volume han the champion, but was still losing the rounds due to the quality of Farmer's work.
Farmer began the ninth with a bit more urgency, perhaps wary of the activity of his challenger racking up the rounds on the scorecards. He was up on his toes, pinging shots off the Irishman's head, causing a steady stream of blood to flow down the right side of his face.
In the championship rounds, Farmer visibly targeted the bloodied face of Carroll and managed to wobble his legs for the first time in the fight. By the end of the penultimate round, Carroll was in serious trouble, looking very fatigued and hurt by this time.
The bearded 'Celtic Warrior' revealed that the offending punch managed to burst his ear drum, instantly unbalancing his equilibrium.
Farmer closed the fight as a true champion, on top of his opponent who was right where he wanted him. The fight ended with Farmer unloading a barage of punches before referee Gary Rosato broke the two up at the final bell.
It was an intruiging, back and forth, very exciting fight that delivered drama from start to finish.
“We swayed off the game plan,” Carroll said post-fight. “He’s a world-class opponent. The plan was to touch the jab all night long and counter the back hand. At the end of the day, I put it all on the line.
“If I left that ring with an ounce of energy left, I would have been annoyed with myself. Tevin was the better man tonight. I left it all in there tonight.”
Farmer looks set to face WBA super-featherweight champ Gevonta “Tank” Davis’ next.
Eddie Hearn, who co-promoted with Lou DiBella, reacted, “The whole world wants to see that fight, but Tevin has worked himself into a position now where he’s a valuable commodity in the American fight game.
“He’s had three world championship defenses in four months. Tank’s had three world championship fights in about five years. That’s the fight that will secure Tevin’s legacy in the sport.”
Katie Taylor (13-0, 6 KOs) stopped Rose Volante (14-1) at 1:40 of the ninth round, when referee Benjy Esteves Jr. stepped in due to a severe cut on the bridge of Volante’s nose. The Irish star added the Brazilian's WBO world title to her own IBF and WBA lightweight belts. That just leaves the WBC left to complete the collection, so a showdown wh Belgian Delfine Persoon (43-1, 18KOs) looks imminent as the 32-year-old from Bray will inevitably target the green and gold net in a bid to become the undisputed lightweight queen.
WBC #1 Luke Campbell MBE (20-2, 16 KOs) stopped Mexican Adrian Young (26-6-2 20 KOs) in five as he waits for his shot at the WBC world lightweight title.