Tevin Farmer loads up for a hometown defense in Philly on March 15
Philadelphia, PA – Tevin Farmer backed up laughing. He was close enough to hear Jono Carroll’s heartbeat, as Farmer and Carroll stood face-to-face during their Philadelphia press conference earlier this week to announce Farmer’s IBF junior lightweight title defense in a battle of southpaws at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Friday March 15, live on DAZN in the U.S. and on Sky Sports in the U.K.)
Farmer (28-4-1, 6 knockouts) will be making the third defense of the IBF 130-pound title he won by beating Billy Dib in Australia last August.
Farmer, 28, has taken the journeyman’s path to a major title, so having this opportunity to defend it in his hometown is significant.
It was so singular that his juices were overflowing when he finally met Carroll (16-0-1, 3 KOs) in person.
“Jono is a loudmouth and he’s been a loudmouth,” said Farmer, who’s 21-0 over the last six years and hasn’t lost a fight since being stopped by Jose Pedraza in October 2012. “I think I’ve been getting better and better lately with every fight. Jono is going to try to be tough with me but that won’t be enough.”
It’s been Farmer’s lifelong dream to have a title defense in Philadelphia. That night, Farmer may be so incredibly fired up that he could run through a wall and not feel a brick.
“I’m a veteran; I’ve been around, so I don’t think being too hyped on fight night will be an issue where it brings me out of my game and what I like to do,” Farmer said. “Maybe a few years back that would have been a problem but I can definitely say not now.
“I’ll admit I’ll be fired up for this but I’m fired up for every fight.”
Farmer took off five weeks after his most recent victory, an easy 12-round unanimous decision over Francisco Fonseca, in support of Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden on December 15, 2018. The March 15 title bout will be Farmer’s first fight in Philadelphia since 2017.
Farmer began training for Carroll last week.
“Carroll has a weird style; he makes a lot of unnecessary movement,” Farmer said. “He thinks he has ability but he doesn’t. He won’t be able to keep up with my inside game or my outside game. Plus I’m fighting in Philly. It feels good. I came up on the Philly club shows circuit.
“You can say the Philly boxing scene made me. I was always the guy expected to lose. This is a lot different. I’m the favorite. I’m the guy expected to win. For once, everything is geared towards me. This is a major fight on international streaming. (Carroll)’s afraid of me, especially when he knows he doesn’t have a chance.
“He was so nervous when I was up there standing next to him. I could hear his heart beating.”
Chino Rivas, Farmer’s trainer, says Farmer is still evolving as a fighter. Rivas says Farmer has so much more to learn about boxing and he’s just reaching the start of his potential. What’s more is Farmer wants to further challenge Rivas to add new elements to his game.
Finally this is Farmer’s show. He gets to be the king of Philadelphia boxing for a day.
“Not many in Philly thought Tevin would be what he’s become today,” said Rivas, who came on as Farmer’s trainer when he was 7-4-1 after the Pedraza loss. “When we started working with each other seven years ago, I told him that he would be a top-five fighter someday. A lot of boxing people in Philly didn’t believe that.
“Tevin has made a lot of believers in Philadelphia. That’s why this fight is so special to him. He gets to come back in front of a lot of people who didn’t think he would ever be a world champion. He’s someone who had a tough upbringing, with facing tough opposition coming up and he’s an incredible human being who has not only changed my life; he’s changed everyone else’s life around him.
“Tevin is excited – I’m more excited for him. This is something Tevin has been waiting for his whole life.”
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