Junior lightweight world titlist Tevin Farmer traveled to Billy Dib’s turf in Australia, where he won a vacant world title last summer. For his third defense, Farmer will be the one who gets to have a world title fight at home.
Farmer will defend his 130-pound belt against Ireland’s Jono Carroll on March 15 (DAZN) — St. Patrick’s Day weekend — at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced Thursday.
“Tevin Farmer is one of the great boxing underdog stories of our generation, and I’m so happy he is getting the chance to bring that world championship home against a feisty and talented Jono Carroll,” Hearn said.
The fighters have gone at each other on social media and will meet face to face for the first time at the kickoff news conference on Tuesday.
“He’s got a world title shot on St Patrick’s weekend. He should be thanking me,” Farmer said. “He’s trying to get under my skin, but it’s impossible to get under my skin. He’s making himself look bad, and he’s stepping up to a whole different level with me. I’m A-level, and he’s going to pay.
“He says we both come from tough backgrounds, the hood. That boy hasn’t come from any struggle, no hood. I’m going to show him when he comes to Philly. He’s going to eat his words. He’s trying to get his buzz up, but there’s certain things that you don’t say. He’s made this personal, and you don’t want to get personal with a Philly guy like me.”
Farmer has been extremely active. He won the belt in August; knocked out James Tennyson in the fifth round on Oct. 20 in Boston; and then defended for the second time on Dec. 15, outpointing Francisco Fonseca in New York on the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding undercard. Now Farmer (28-4-1, 6 KOs), 28, is pleased to return home for his next defense.
“This is big for me, fighting as a world champion in Philly. When does Philly hold big world championship shows? This is big — it’s a boxing town, but this is as big a show as there’s been here for a long time,” Farmer said.
Carroll (16-0-1, 3 KOs), 26, fought to a draw with Guillaume Frenois in a world title eliminator on Dec. 8 but nonetheless will get the title bout, albeit not as the mandatory challenger.
“I’ll do what I want with Tevin,” Carroll said. “He’s a tiny little child, and I’m not afraid of him. When we meet, if he’s respectful of me, I’ll be respectful back, as that’s how I’ve been brought up. But if [he] comes talking rubbish then I’ll put him in his place. I see a fakeness in him when I see him interviewed. I see a fake person. My thoughts on him are that he wants to be liked, but he’s not. I reckon he’s arrogant. That’s the man I think he is, and I know he’s that sort of flashy person saying stupid things on Twitter.
“Tevin is a man that wants to be liked, but he plays like he’s Floyd Mayweather, but he’s not half as good as him. He has serious holes in his armor, and I am going to poke every single one of them, I’ll break him up and stop him. He’s never met a man like me in his life.”
The card will also feature a second world title bout as Katie Taylor (12-0, 5 KOs), who owns two women’s lightweight belts, will meet titlist Rose Volante (14-0, 8 KOs) in a three-belt unification fight that will move the winner a step closer to the undisputed title.
Taylor, 32, of Ireland, will be making her sixth defense, and Volante, 36, of Brazil, will be making her third.
“Ever since I won my first world title as a pro my goal has been to unify the lightweight titles, so this is obviously a massive step towards that,” Taylor said. “Volante is unbeaten so I’m expecting a tough fight, but that’s exactly the kind of challenge I want. I think the better the opponent and the bigger the challenge the better I will perform.”
Two other 10-round bouts will be part of the main card with Polish middleweight contender Maciej Sulecki (27-1, 11 KOs), 29, taking on Philadelphia’s former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado (24-11-1, 14 KOs), 33, and an all-Philadelphia lightweight bout between former world title challenger Hank Lundy (29-7-1, 14 KOs), 35, and Avery Sparrow (9-1, 3 KOs), 25.
In preliminary action, blue-chip welterweight prospect Daniyar Yeleussinov (5-0, 3 KOs), a 27-year-old southpaw and a 2016 Olympic gold medalist for Kazakhstan, will face an opponent to be determined in an eight-round bout.