IBA / IBA Champions Night

Jono Carroll’s take on Albert Batyrgaziev: “Everybody starts with an undefeated record”

July 3rd, 2024 / IBA, IBA Champions Night

Humble beginnings can be traced to many an Irish fighter – and Jono Carroll’s professional career stemmed from looking for secure work overseas.

Australia has long been associated with immigration promising strong wages and a new life, and the 32-year-old’s life was changed when he decided to make the move. Two years in a new country saw opportunity in the ring, where he started his professional career with two victories.

Sensing more lucrative match-ups back home, Carroll would be victorious in the Prizefighter series – defeating seasoned veterans Stephen Foster and Gary Buckland on his way to the final, cementing his place as one of the rising lightweight boxing stars. It took 18 bouts until the Dubliner would face defeat against American Tevin Farmer for the IBF Super Featherweight title.

He has since only suffered defeat one more time and has never been knocked out, coming into his WBA Interim World Super Featherweight title match against undefeated home favorite, Olympic and IBA Pro World champion Albert Batyrgaziev at IBA Champions’ Night in Serpukhov, Russia.

“Everybody starts with an undefeated record,” says Carroll.

“So even though he’s won IBA title and Olympics and everything else, he’s not a seasoned professional yet.

“I’ve proven myself in the 10 or 12 rounds stage, I’ve proven myself at world level stage, so now it’s his time to prove it.

“It’s going to be very hard to get the decision, but I believe I can do it convincingly enough and to be honest, he’s never been in the ring with someone like me.”

The tale of the tape shows Batyrgaziev with a high rate of knockouts, while the Irishman’s longevity has more often than not resulted in his arm being raised. Seven of the Russian’s 10 wins have come after his opponent was deemed unable to continue, while Carroll can only the say the same in seven of his 24 victories.

“I’m looking to take him into deep, deep waters and then drown him in them later rounds,” Carroll said, confident of his ability to win the test of durability and psychological warfare.

“I fought Stephen Foster in my fourth professional fight, who was a seasoned professional – he’s never fought somebody like Foster in his first 10 fights, never mind my level.”

He matches his actions, as proven when he had to go to hospital after his bout with Farmer with a never-say-die attitude. Even when facing adversity, he will be difficult to take to the ground. While his experience will be beneficial, Carroll is just as cautious of Batyrgaziev’s confidence.

Carroll added: “He’s never been defeated, so if anything, it plays more to his advantage.

“You don’t want to lose that winning streak, so it will give him that little bit of hunger to try and prove himself, prove that he is at that level.

“I’ve already tasted defeat, if anything, tasting defeat is a bit of victory, it’s like you learn a lot from it but at the same time, it’s still hard to peel the skin off.

“The most important thing is that you learn from your defeats, he’s still young enough, he still hasn’t had that experience, but I’m hoping to be the one to give him that experience.

“You don’t know what you’re capable of doing unless you’ve been put in the situation before.

“Everyone else he’s fought, he’s had it all his own way – he’s not going to have that with me.”

There is clearly a great deal of respect for the Russian and his achievements particularly during his IBA boxing career, but as much grace as he gives Batyrgaziev, Carroll is just as determined to “answer questions” of his opponent and walk out of Serpukhov an unpopular winner.

“Just because we’re in your hometown, and you’re the Olympic champion – the best of luck to you, but I ain’t coming here to roll over. I’m a prizefighter, so, show me the money and I’m showing up there 100% ready to take his head off.”