By Jake Donovan
After months of going back and forth through social media, Tevin Farmer and Jono Carroll finally had the chance to speak their minds face-to-face.
Suffice to say, there won’t be much love lost by the time they step in the ring.
Farmer will make the 3rd defense of his super featherweight title versus the unbeaten Carroll atop a March 15th DAZN-streamed show live from the Liacouras Center in Farmer’s hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A press conference was held on Tuesday to formally announce the event, where things were civil until the main event players had their turn at the microphone.
“This is where I’m going to win my world title,” Ireland’s Carroll said (16-0-1, 3KOs) of what will serve as both his first shot at a major title as well as his U.S. debut. “My grandkids will hear stories of how I won my first world title in Philly. I have been an underdog in most of my fights, but I keep winning and winning.”
It was never going to take much for Farmer to take exception to anything Carroll had to say, but that particular line seemed to have left the defending titlist no longer able to bite his tongue.
“You were supposed to win your mandatory, talking all that s***,” Farmer (28-4-1, 6KOS) pointed out of Carroll’s 12-round draw with France’s Guillaume Frenois in their title eliminator last December. “You couldn’t even beat Frenois. But, I told Eddie (Hearn, Carroll’s promoter and Farmer’s co-promoter along with Lou DiBella), ‘Bring him to me.’
“I just beat your cousin, I just stopped (James Tennyson),” Farmer mocked Carroll, noting his 3rd round knockout win in his first defense last October, which ruined plans for an all-Irish title fight between Tennyson and Carroll. “I’m getting tired of beating y’all.”
It didn’t get any better even when they weren’t talking, as the obligatory staredown turned into a near-shoving match which was quickly squashed by event handlers.
Carroll’s placement on this show is two-fold, as he still ranks along with Frenois as among Farmer’s highest rated contenders according to the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title. His Irish heritage certainly lends to the weekend’s theme, with the show taking place two days prior to St. Patrick’s Day.
“It’s going to be electrifying in the arena that night,” Carroll told BoxingScene.com. “This may be his hometown, but me fighting for a world title on St. Patrick’s Day (weekend)—I bet there will be more Irish supporters rooting for me than there will be Philly fans rooting for him. They’ll all be rooting for me by the end of the night.”
The defending titlist has other plans in mind.
“I’m gonna beat you bad; I’m gonna beat you the f*** up—that’s how we say it here in Philly,” promised Farmer, who will fight for the fourth time in less than eight months, having won the title in a 12-round whitewash of Billy Dib last August on the road in Australia. “You only got this fight because I chose you.
“You have to come and bring your best to beat me. After I beat your ass, I’m gonna take you out for a cheesesteak.”