Brook vs Zerafa: Jono Carroll and Guillaume Frenois battle to a draw in eliminator fight
The winner was due a shot at IBF champion Tevin Farmer
By Matt Horan
Last Updated: 08/12/18 11:39pm
Jono Carroll and Guillaume Frenois fought to a split-decision draw after a pulsating IBF final eliminator clash in Sheffield.
The bearded Irishman and his French counterpart worked at a relentless pace but could not be split after 12 rounds of super-featherweight action, scores of 115-113, 113-115 and 114-114 resulting in a draw.
The winner was lined up to take on slick American Tevin Farmer for the IBF belt early next year but Carroll and Frenois may now have to go at it again to secure the mandatory shot.
Both fighting out of a southpaw stance, the two super-featherweights tussled for control in the opening round, Carroll taking his attack downstairs when in range as Frenois jabbed off the back-foot.
A cut then opened up above the Dubliner's left eye in the second period but it only spurred Carroll on, 'King Kong' jumping in with more body work before a vicious right staggered his French counterpart.
The unbeaten Irishman stayed on the offensive for the next few rounds, continually blasting in shots to the midriff area, but 'L'expert' came out firing in the fifth, countering well with both hands as the momentum swung in his favour.
With a spring in his step, a relaxed Frenois stayed in control, the left-hand counter once more catching his foe on the way in, the combinations also landing flush.
Carroll sparked back into life to kick off the second half, success coming with his sustained attacks to the body in the seventh, but the Frenchman returned fire with fire thereafter, countering well with the left hand in a closely-fought eighth.
The topsy-turvy battle continued in similar fashion from there, the Irishman's come-forward attacks to the body being met with neat counters down the stretch, both fighters proudly raising their arms after each remaining period.
It was Frenois who got the better of the later stages, displaying his pure boxing skills brilliantly in the 11th, three great shots culminating in an uppercut nullifying the pressure of 'King Kong', before he again cleverly controlled the final period.