Jono Carroll had his breakout night in front of the home crowd of a former world champion.
The ex-IBF Inter-Continental super-featherweight champion proved too strong for Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on Saturday night.
Carroll is a former IBF world title challenger and had the better of the exchanges against the former WBA ‘regular’ super-bantamweight champion from the off.
Quigg, who is back with trainer Joe Gallagher after their split back in February 2017, boxed for the first time in 17 months after over a year out with a jaw injury.
"Scott was one of my idols growing up but this is my time, tonight I showed my quality," said Carroll.
The hometown man got a foothold in the fight in the second round but that didn’t last very long as the Dubliner hurt Quigg in the third and had the better of proceedings against the Bury man just as a small cut appeared below his right eye at the end of the fourth.
Quigg continued to get caught with counter left hands by Carroll in only his second contest at 130 pounds and, by the end of six rounds, the away fighter was in cruise control.
A stinging right hand in the seventh prompted chants of ‘Ole, ole, ole’ from the Carroll fans who were under the impression that their man had it all in hand.
Joe Gallagher warned referee John Latham to watch for a misdemeanour at the beginning of the eighth but it did little to dissuade Carroll –– the bigger, stronger man –– from attempting to inflict further damage on Quigg who was off the pace and stumbled to defeat.
Carroll handed Quigg the third loss of his professional career after Gallagher threw in the towel during the 11th round. Quigg’s dreams of becoming a two-weight world champion were left in tatters as a result of Gallagher’s decision to save his man, but ‘King Kong’ put himself back in the mix for major honours in the division he has campaigned in since reaching title level back in June 2017.
"He was the better man. I was chasing him," said an emotional Quigg afterwards. "Fitness-wise was no problem but my timing wasn't there.
"I'm a realist and I don't kid anyone. This was a must-win fight. At my best I would have won tonight. On this performance, I don't know what's left.
"I couldn't have achieved anymore. I cut no corners. I beat World Champions, sold out arenas. If this is it, thank you."