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Irish boxer Jono ‘King Kong’ Carroll (19-2-1, 5 KOs) is focused on the prospect of moving one step towards his ultimate goal of becoming World Champion with a win against Andy ‘El Tiburon’ Vences (23-2-1, 12 KOs) this Saturday night.
Jono Carroll and Andy Vences will fight on Triller Fight Club’s Legends II card on September 11, which also includes fights between Tito Ortiz and Anderson Silva, and David Haye and Joe Fournier, as well as the main event – Evander Holyfield vs Vitor Belfort.
The fight is scheduled for 10 rounds and will be for the vacant WBA International Silver Super-Featherweight Title.
The 29-year-old from Dublin is not phased by the quality of his opponent and believes he can impose his own game plan on the American.
“I want to be a World Champion,” Carroll exclaimed. “The only reason I’m in this game is to be a World Champion.
“Every fight for me now is for a world title, so I don’t really necessarily care about my opponent.
“It doesn’t bother me how good or bad or whatever he is – I always try and focus on my game plan and if I’m in the correct mindset and I’m in the correct physical condition that I should be, then I don’t believe anyone beats me.”
Both fighters competing on Saturday have lost in recent history, with both of them having lost in title fights prior to their most recent loss too.
For El Tiburon, the most recent loss was his most recent fight against Luis Alberto Lopez Vargas and the 30-year-old want to bounce back from it and avoid three losses in four bouts.
In Jono’s case, he has already bounced back from his loss and is happy for Maxi Hughes, who beat him last August and is now IBO World Lightweight Champion after victory on Saturday night.
“I caught a silly loss but it doesn’t define my career. When its all said and done and I’m the World Champion, that’s all that matters to me at the end of the day.”
King Kong got back on track following the defeat to Hughes with a victory over Romic Airapetean, who had to retire halfway through their fight.
Carroll then had a fight with Vences scheduled for June before it was postponed several times.
Regardless of the postponements, the former IBF World Super Featherweight title challenger is feeling in great shape ahead of his fight later this week.
His team and himself set up their fight camp in Monterrey, Mexico – a familiar place for them. He likened its weather and humidity to that of Los Angeles.
He described the gyms in the city as old school and said that it reminded him of when he started out at Dunboyne initially and then Navan Boxing Club, getting into boxing via his dad.
He fondly remembered his first sparring session upon getting into boxing.
“I actually sparred a girl called Kellie Harrington, who just won the Olympics. She burst me nose…me and her were starting out together, you know.”
Jono sees the hustle of people on the Mexican city’s streets when he travels to the gym and noted that young girls would sell him chewing gum in exchange for cash in the middle of traffic.
He described people who weren’t on the streets that were doing incredible stunts that you would only otherwise see in a circus.
“These people are just hustling – they’re out here working hard, you know what I mean?
“It’s a mad culture shock but at the same time its nice to see hard working-class people trying to get out [of the situations they are in].”
Carroll added that he believes that that same drive he sees on his commute to the gym is visible in it.
He saw how hungry the local fighters are as they are fighting to try and give themselves and their families a better life.
The 29-year-old worked with three local sparring partners and credited them wth the toughness he sees in Mexicans across the sport.
“The fact that three Mexicans have to give me the work? You know, I’m in shape, I’m ready.”
Jono Carroll fights Andy Vences for the WBA International Silver Super-Featherweight Title on Saturday, September 11 at 8:15 pm Irish Standard Time. The bout will be available to watch on FITE TV.