PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - January 29, 2019  
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Story by John DiSanto
Photos by Darryl Cobb Jr. /


IBF junior lightweight champion Tevin Farmer, 28-4-1, 6 KOs, will defend his title for the third time in a homecoming fight against Ireland’s Jono Carroll, 16-0-1, 3 KOs, at the Liacouras Center, on Temple University’s North Philly campus on March 15.  Promoter Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing officially announced the fight at a lively press conference at Spin in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon.  The title fight tops a star-studded card that will be streamed live on DAZN. 

“We’re here in Philadelphia, and we are delighted to be in the Liacouras Center, March 15th, St. Patrick’s Day weekend, live on DAZN, for our first show in Philadelphia,” promoter Eddie Hearn said to the large crowd gathered for the press conference. “We’re here, really, for many reasons.  Number one, of course, is because of your very own Tevin Farmer, but also because we have so many other great fights on the card as well.” 

The supporting cast for the show is loaded with boxing talent.  In the co-feature, Ireland’s Katy Taylor, 12-0, 5 KOs, will meet Brazilian Rose Volante, 14-0, 8 KOs, in a 12-rounder for the IBF, WBA and WBO women’s lightweight title.  Taylor was present for the presser and quietly addressed the crowd.  “It’s great to be here in Philadelphia,” Taylor said.  “It’s a great fighting city.” 

Also on the card, is one of Philly’s favorite fighting sons, Gabriel Rosado, 24-11-1, 14 KOs.  He will fight at home for the first time since 2012 when he faces Poland’s Maciej Sulecki, 27-1, 11 KOs, in a tough 10-round middleweight bout.  Rosado was present for the press conference, but his opponent was not. 

Perhaps the tastiest bout of the entire card is a the 10-round lightweight, all-Philly showdown between veteran Hank Lundy, 29-7-1, 14 KOs, and promising upstart Avery Sparrow, 9-1, 3 KOs.  The crosstown rivals engaged in a heated verbal exchange and a prickly stare-down.  Both appeared confident and raring to go for the fight. 

Despite the many exciting aspects of this event, all eyes were on Farmer, who won his world title in Australia in August and quickly made two title defense on the road (Boston and New York).  His fight with Carroll will be his first Philly start since becoming champion. 

“I’m Tevin Farmer, and I came from nothing,” the champion said from the podium.  “It’s a privilege to fight in Philadelphia, especially to headline in Philadelphia, because at one point I was the underdog in Philadelphia. But I just kept believing in myself.” 

Farmer and Carroll verbally sparred before, during, and after the press conference, with both guaranteeing victory in the scheduled 12-rounder.  Farmer arrived early on Tuesday and calmly made his rounds, talking to all of his supporters.  However, when Carroll breezed in, just before the press conference began, the two went right at each other for a little shout down.  The promoters pulled them apart and the press conference got underway. 

“I’m going to beat you up,” Farmer said to Carroll when it was his turn to speak.  “I just got done beating your cousin… James Tennyson (Farmer KO’d another Irishman in October).  After I beat you up, then I’m going to take you out for a cheese steak.” 

Carroll spoke before Farmer, and began calmly and confidently.  “This is America,” Carroll said.  “This is the place dreams are made of.  So to me, this is amazing.  I want to thank everyone from Philly.  I love this town because this is going to be the place where I win my world title.  So, this place is going to be history in my family.” 

However, as Carroll did his best to speak over the noisy statements of the large contingent of Farmer’s family and friends as they loudly belittled him, Carroll’s temperature started to rise. 

“I’m grateful to be here today, Carroll continued.  “I don’t care what this little pea brain has to say.  Something keeps dragging me toward boxing.  I keep getting these fights, and I keep winning these fights.  So, on March 15th, I’m going to take that belt, and Tevin Farmer’s not going to know what hit him.  He hasn’t been hit before.  So, we’re going to see what happens.  And listen, if he beats me, I’ll take my hat off to him, and say he’s a great man, because it’s going to take a great man to beat me.” 

Tickets for the seven-bout card are available now, and based on the line-up and this press conference, should start selling fast. 




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - January 29, 2019