Nathan Kelly & Stephen Findlater
There were contrasting emotions on display for local boxers after Jono Carroll claimed an incredible Prizefighter victory in England, while Stephen Ormond was forced to withdraw from his title eliminator against Terry Flanagan.
Both boxers, stable-mates at the Celtic Warrior Gym, were set to continue an exciting number of weeks for the club, with Ormond’s bout in Sheffield scheduled to occur this Saturday, seven days after Carroll’s big night on Prizefighter, which aired live on Sky Sports.
Instead, it was announced last Friday that the Neilstown man was forced to withdraw from the fight after he contracted a virus.
Ormond, who was recently crowned WBO’s European Fighter of the Year will wait for his fight with Flanagan to be re-arranged, although there are rumours in the boxing community that following Carroll and Co’s recent triumphs, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn may wish to bring the Sky Sports cameras back to Dublin for another big night of boxing. If true, that would be a night Ormond, who has not fought for a number of months, would surely love to be involved in.
Speaking to GazetteSport before his recent withdrawal, the 31-year-old said: “I want to get in the ring with Flanagan because no one else will challenge him,
“I want that challenge and see how good I am. I know how good I am but I want to prove it. That’s what boxing is all about.
“If I beat Flanagan, then I will be ready for a world title shot. That’s the way I see it.”
There was still cause to celebrate on the Dublin boxing scene the following evening however, as Carroll shocked the large audience present and watching on TV as he took home the Prizefighter trophy and €40,000 cheque that goes with it.
Carroll began the competition at a 14/1 price with most bookmakers, making him a large outsider, but in his own words at the end of the night: “If I was a betting man, I would have put money on that!”
As well as being the outsider, Carroll was drawn against the tournament favourite and former European champion Stephen Foster in the quarter-final but won on points. The semi-final was hardly easy either, as he faced previous Prizefighter winner and Commonwealth champion Gary Buckland, but showed some real boxing class to counter Buckland’s brawn with brain.
All that stood between Carroll and victory was Michael Devine, but Jono outclassed and outboxed him, throwing some lethal punches along the way during the three round fight. He took the final with a 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 win.
The lightweight’s result follows on from the recent success of Luke Keeler and Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, who are also members of the Celtic Warrior Gym, with Carroll and Ormond.