WEDNESDAY: Jono Carroll Headlines Special Edition of #MTKFightNight Against Maxi Hughes LIVE on ESPN+ – UPDATE: Scheduled five-bout stream to start at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT
Midweek boxing comes to ESPN+ this Wednesday with the return of former world title challenger Jono Carroll, who will face off against veteran Maxi Hughes in the 10-round lightweight main event.
The closed-door #MTKFightNight event will take place at Production Park Studios in Wakefield, England, and will stream live beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
Carroll (18-1-1, 4 KOs), from Dublin, lost a unanimous decision to Tevin Farmer for the IBF junior lightweight world title in March 2019, but he’s since won two consecutive bouts. The southpaw pressure fighter kicked off his 2020 campaign in March with a knockout over former world champion Scott Quigg in Manchester, England. The result sent Quigg into retirement and re-inserted Carroll into the world title picture. Hughes (20-5-2, 4 KOs) is a two-time British title challenger who is best known to UK fight fans for his action-packed trilogy against Martin Joseph Ward. He is 3-2 in his last five bouts, including a decision loss to former world title challenger Liam Walsh last November.
In other action on the ESPN+ stream:
• “Sugar” Sean McComb (10-0, 5 KOs), aka “The Public Nuisance,” will fight former Southern Area champion Siar Ozgul (15-4, 3 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight bout. McComb announced he will campaign at lightweight following the Ozgul fight.
• In an eight-round battle featuring a pair of unbeaten welterweights, former British amateur sensation Sahir Iqbal (7-0, 1 KO) will take on Welsh prospect Maredudd Thomas (11-0, 2 KOs).
• Dublin-born prospect Pierce “Big Bang” O’Leary (4-0, 1 KO) will face off against Jacob Quinn (4-0) in a scheduled six-rounder contracted for 143 pounds.
• Craig MacIntyre (11-0-1, 4 KOs) will fight Ishmael Ellis (11-2) in an eight-round welterweight tilt.
It’s been a sensational period for Irish superstar Jono Carroll – and he’s determined to continue his momentum in style when he takes on Maxi Hughes next month.
World title challenger Carroll (18-1-1, 4 KOs) takes on Hughes (20-5-2, 4 KOs) in the main event of a massive #MTKFightNight at the LS-Live in Wakefield on August 12, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
Carroll’s last outing saw him earn a fantastic stoppage win over Scott Quigg during a one-sided battle in March, and the man known as ‘King Kong’ is ready to pick up right where he left off.
Carroll said: “I’m over the moon. It’s topping the bill again, so this is what dreams are made of and why I started boxing in the first place. The fact that it’s an MTK Global show makes it even better, so I’m looking forward to putting on another classic performance.
“The Quigg fight went exactly how me and my trainer planned it. It was an easy night’s work and easier than expected. We put so much hard work and graft in the gym, and we were well prepared.
“It’s Maxi Hughes next, but I haven’t watched him fight really. I’ve seen two minutes of him and that’s it. I don’t like studying fighters or watching them too much.
“You can watch and think do this and do that, but it doesn’t matter. I just let my trainer do the investigation, then he gives me the game plan and I’ll do what he tells me. It means I don’t get mentally exhausted thinking about what punches I need to throw.
“I’ve had some quality time at home with the family over the last three months, so it’s been fantastic. I’ve still always been training in the garden at home, but it allowed me to take the break I truly needed. Now I’m excited to be back.”
Hughes: I could be the bigger man!
Maxi Hughes knows he is the underdog when he takes on Jono Carroll next month – but feels a potential size advantage could make all the difference in the fight.
Yorkshire boxer Hughes (20-5-2, 4 KOs) takes on world title challenger Carroll (18-1-1, 4 KOs) in the main event of a massive #MTKFightNight at the LS-Live in Wakefield on August 12, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
Hughes has spent the last few years campaigning at lightweight, while Carroll operates at super-featherweight. The fight between the two men takes place at 133lbs, slightly above the super-featherweight division, and Hughes feels that could potentially work in his favour.
Hughes said: “I’ve been training hard and got my nutrition sorted so it shouldn’t be a problem. Maybe I will be the bigger man on the night.
“I’m expecting a tough fight, I’ve seen a bit of Jono and I know his best asset is his engine. I will be prepared for all eventualities. I’ve had nearly 30 fights now and been in with some top operators, so that experience will stand me in good stead for this fight.
“The last few months have been very strange. On a positive note I had 11 weeks off and my wife and daughter were at home with me, so that time is priceless. The only negative was not being able to see our parents and friends or go to visit places.
“I kept up training, and actually got some personal bests on my runs. I bought a 10 meter climbing rope to use, and I have big trees in my garden so was able to use that for training and did my ground work in the garden.
“I did miss working with the lads in the gym, but now I’m very excited to be back this soon in a big fight after the pandemic. MTK Global do a great job on the shows so I know this will be a great promotion to fight on.”
Surtees: I’m a level above MacIntyre!
Darren Surtees believes Craig MacIntyre’s level of opposition during his career so far will be his downfall when the two men meet in a highly-anticipated bout next month.
Hard-hitting Surtees (12-1, 8 KOs) takes on undefeated MacIntyre (11-0-1, 4 KOs) on a massive #MTKFightNight at the LS-Live in Wakefield on August 12, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
Surtees returns following his #GoldenContract quarter-final with Mohamed Mimoune last November, while MacIntyre is back after a 14-month absence in what looks set to be his toughest bout to date, something that Surtees feels will be the telling factor in their fight.
Surtees said: “Craig is a good lad and a technical boxer that has a bit of spite in his punches, but I believe his level of competition hasn’t been good.
“After five fights I boxed for the Northern Area title, so I think I’ve been in with better opponents and I think I have the heart and skills to beat him.
“It’s his first fight in 14 months but I don’t believe in ring rust if you love doing what you do, so I think he will be at his best in the fight.
“I’m looking forward to this bout and I should have boxed a few lads like this level before the Golden Contract. I boxed Mimoune and took a risk. I learnt a lot in that fight and things happen for a reason, but I’ll never ever shy away from a fight.”
MacIntyre making up for lost time
It’s been a frustrating year for talented Scottish star Craig MacIntyre – and he plans on unleashing all of that frustration when he takes on hard-hitting Darren Surtees next month.
Undefeated MacIntyre (11-0-1, 4 KOs) faces Surtees (12-1, 8 KOs) on a massive #MTKFightNight at the LS-Live in Wakefield on August 12, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
It will have been nearly 14 months since MacIntyre was last in the ring when he steps through the ropes to fight Surtees, and he’s excited to be returning in a very meaningful contest.
MacIntyre said: “I’m buzzing to be back fighting, it’s been a long time coming because I’ve been out of the ring for over a year and that was only three rounds, and then it had been six months before that.
“Lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for me, I was due to fight on the Josh Taylor undercard, and I was really excited for that. It would have been a massive night for Scottish boxing in a great venue, so when it was cancelled I was really disappointed.
“It’s going to be an exciting fight against Darren Surtees. We’ve both got power, so the fans are in for a treat with this one. We’ve seen things we can exploit, because every boxer has their weaknesses. It’s about what we can do to make it happen.
“On paper it looks like the toughest night of my career so far, but I’m confident in my own ability that I can beat anybody on the night. It’s just about what I’m doing to get myself prepared, and then turning up and putting on a show for everybody.
“We’ve had to adapt training and I’ve quite enjoyed it. We’ve transformed my coach’s warehouse into a gym, and then we’ve been getting out to the hills and running track too, so I’ve loved this way of doing it.
Iqbal: I’m superior in every way to Thomas
Sahir Iqbal admits he hasn’t seen much of opponent Maredudd Thomas – but insists that from what he has seen, he feels he’s better in every department.
The unbeaten fighters will clash when Iqbal (7-0, 1 KO) faces Thomas (11-0, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBC Youth welterweight title on a massive #MTKFightNight at the LS-Live in Wakefield on August 12, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
It’s a fight that was initially set to happen earlier this year, and Iqbal is certain that the extra time has allowed him to become even more sure of a victory.
Iqbal said: “I’ve not seen much of Thomas to be honest, but I’m confident in what I’ve seen that I’m superior in every aspect to get the job done. I know he’ll come to fight which is what I wanted in an opponent, so it’ll be a good bout.
“Initially we were meant to fight in May, and I think the extra time has helped massively as I’ve added a new strength and conditioner to my team, so I’m feeling fitter and stronger than ever.
“It’s been a little weird over the last few months having to stay away from relatives or not meeting with friends, but it’s not been too different to when I’m in training camp.
“I’ve not had any time off since the lockdown began as I’m lucky enough to have a gym at home which has most of what I needed to train, so I’m feeling more than ready to put on a show on fight night.”
Thomas: You’ll see my power against Iqbal
Maredudd Thomas has fired back at Sahir Iqbal ahead of their WBC Youth welterweight title showdown – insisting that this will be the fight where he displays his true power.
Thomas (11-0, 2 KOs) faces Iqbal (7-0, 1 KO) in a clash of unbeaten fighters on a massive #MTKFightNight at the LS-Live in Wakefield on August 12, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV.
Iqbal was in a very confident mood when discussing the fight last week, but Thomas has now responded in a big way, and is just as certain that he will be the one with his hand raised at the conclusion of the bout.
Thomas said: “He can say what he likes, I know he’s not underestimating me, and I’m glad he’s coming to fight because this will be where people get to see my power. This will be the first proper fight of his professional career.
“I think he’s a confident fighter, I’ve seen a couple of his fights but he hasn’t fought anyone for me to take much from. His best opponent has been Serge Ambomo, he did OK but maybe lost one or two rounds, so I know what I have to do to beat him.
I’m feeling good, I fought on the last MTK show in Cardiff just before the lockdown, and now I’m on the first one back. I’ve been in the gym since my last fight and I’ve had my brothers with me pushing me even when we didn’t have a date.
“I don’t think it will be too bad with no fans, I’m just happy to be getting back out so soon, and I know my supporters will be watching from back home.”
Iqbal vs. Thomas is part of a huge show on August 12, which is headlined by Jono Carroll vs. Maxi Hughes and also features Sean McComb going up against Siar Ozgul, Craig MacIntyre taking on Darren Surtees, and Pierce O’Leary facing Harry Limburn.
It kicks off a brilliant run of #MTKFightNight events throughout the summer, with the likes of Lewis Crocker, Lee McGregor, Gary Cully, Akeem Ennis Brown, Dan Azeez and more all in action over the coming months.
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