Saturday night’s Sky Sports headliner this week featured a crossroads fight for two of Britain and Ireland’s less talked about talents.
Former world champion, Scott Quigg, who has been inactive for over a year made his comeback against former world title challenger Jono Carroll.
The matchup was intriguing from the get-go, with fans and pundits divided on who would be victorious.
Quigg, of course, had the more decorated resume; with four world title defences and previous opponents including Kiko Martinez, Carl Frampton and Oscar Valdez.
Notably, Quigg is also considered somewhat of a puncher; having won by stoppage in 4 of his last 5 victories.
By contrast, Carroll had only ventured to the world level once, in an unsuccessful but brave title challenge against Tevin Farmer in March 2019.
His stoppage ratio was also mere 17.5% compared with Quigg’s 74%. However, the feeling amongst some fight fans was that Jono was on the way up and Scott was on the slide.
A notion that seemed to grow as fight week progressed.
Jono Carroll can walk the walk
In hindsight, it was easy to pick the winner from their walks to the ring.
Quigg looked tense and uncomfortable, whereas Carroll looked relaxed, upbeat and ready.
Grinning from ear to ear as the introductions were made, the Irishman was decked in black with ‘King Kong’ emblazoned on his t-shirt and robe and matching Cleto Reyes gloves completing the ensemble.
Reyes gloves were an interesting choice and a not so subtle message that Jono Carroll was there ready for war!
When the action began, the contest echoed the build-up with Carroll supremely confident and Quigg noticeably uptight.
The Dubliner used superior lateral and foot movement from his southpaw stance to confuse Scott Quigg who, from the opening round struggled to let his shots go.
Rumbled by ring rust
Ring rust was clearly a factor for the former world champion who never really found his timing and neglected the jab for large proportions of the fight.
As the rounds wore on, Carroll continued to beaver away with nifty combinations to the body and head, moving continuously to evade the counter.
Quigg, to his credit, refused to give up but for the most part, was left chasing shadows.
Carroll upped the ante in the 11th round with laser focusing accuracy in his punches and Quigg began to wilt for the first time.
For a statistical non-puncher, Jono Carroll had beaten up his rival, both eyes were swollen and every shot to the body held weight.
Quigg’s corner took mercy on their warrior and threw in the towel.
Proud as ever, Quigg was understandably disappointed but there was no argument from those watching on.
A sad end to an illustrious career for Scott Quigg but the rebirth of the exciting talent of Jono Carroll.
Take a leaf out of Jono Carroll’s book and train like a pro in a pair of Cleto Reyes sparring gloves.