Jono Carroll moved a step closer to another shot at a world title as he claimed an impressive win over Andy Vences on Saturday.
The Triller Fight Club event was taking place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida, and was broadcast live on Fite TV.
Carroll (20-2-1, 5 KOs) produced one of the best performances of his career, dictating large portions of the fight against Vences (23-3-1, 12 KOs) as it progressed round by round.
It went the 10-round distance, with the three judges at ringside scoring the fight 97-93, 97-93, 95-95 to earn Carroll the hard-fought victory.
After the fight, Carroll explained that a cut above his eye had impaired his vision during the contest.
“It was a nightmare. I’ve had worse cuts in the past but they were longer and the blood dripped down to the side. This time it was right on the eye bone and it kept dripping on my eye," Carroll said, according to Irish Boxing.
“Every time I blinked I got like a red blur and I couldn’t see anything. Every time I wiped it he kept hitting me with the jab, so I was trying to stay as far away from his as possible. When I walked back to the corner I was just thinking ‘this goal book, I’m not going home’. I was thinking ‘I can’t lose this, I’m not tired, I’m 100 percent here. I’m not losing this just because I can’t see’. I decided to close the distance and go to war. My trainer told me I lost the most recent two rounds and I needed to start winning rounds, so I said ‘right do you want me to go to war win?’ and he said ‘right go to war with him’.
“So we just went out there, put the pressure on him and it was perfect, it worked. Those last two rounds won me the fight. I had a really rough year this year. But I always say you have to make sacrifices in boxing – and in life if you don’t make those sacrifices then you dreams get sacrificed. I truly believe that. I wrote down all my goals and what I want to accomplish and I read them every night. I actually have written down ‘become a world champion in 2020’ and then I have ‘or maybe before then’ with a little smiley emoji!
“God, or the universe or whatever you want to believe in placed a world title eliminator right in front of me. I just believe if you can see it in your mind you can hold it in your hand. Genuinely I’m just waiting for the time I become world champion and when I become world champion I’ll move onto the next chapter.
“The night things went wrong [my partner] told me to go buy shorts and to train to be ready for this fight. We were still in the hospital [when she had a miscarriage] and I was running up down the carpark like a lunatic. I was doing press ups in the toilet. It was a mad year but all those things help make a victory like tonight worth it. I won’t be accomplished as a man until I win that world title.”