Jono Carroll got a much-needed victory Saturday night that should lead to another 130-pound title shot.
Ireland’s Carroll defeated Andy Vences by majority decision in a very competitive, 10-round junior lightweight fight on the Evander Holyfield-Vitor Belfort undercard at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Judge Fernando Barbosa scored their bout even (95-95), but judges Fred Fluty and Alex Levin scored seven rounds apiece for the left-handed Carroll (97-93, 97-93).
Carroll, who told announcer Ray Flores that he couldn’t see out of his right eye during the final five rounds, improved to 20-2-1 (5 KOs). Vences (23-2-1, 12 KOs), of San Jose, California, is 1-3 in his past four fights.
With the outcome seemingly in doubt entering the 10th round, Vences landed a right hand as Carroll came forward with just under 1:25 left in their fight. Vences connected with a right to Carroll’s body with about 10 seconds to go in the 10th round as well.
A ringside physician looked at the damage surrounding Carroll’s right eye before the ninth round began. Carroll went on the offensive once the ninth round began and forced Vences to retreat.
Carroll clipped Vences with a right hook just after the halfway point of the ninth round. Vences tried to mount his own offense late in the ninth round, but it clearly was one of Carroll’s best rounds of the fight.
Carroll’s left landed as Vences pulled straight back in the center of the ring with just over 1:20 remaining in the eighth round. Vences’ left-right combination knocked Carroll into the ropes with 1:15 to go in the eighth round.
Vences’ left knocked Carroll off balance with just under 40 seconds on the clock in the eighth round.
Carroll connected with a left hand with just under 1:40 to go in the seventh round. A right-left combination by Carroll landed late in the seventh round as well.
Carroll clipped Vences with a right hook in an exchange just before the midway mark of the sixth round. Carroll’s left to Vences’ body also landed with 1:10 to go in the sixth round.
Vences caught Carroll with a right hand that made him reset his feet with 35 seconds to go in the fifth round. Carroll taunted Vences and showboated during that round, when he also defended himself better against Vences’ right to the body.
Burgos warned Carroll for holding Vences behind his head and hitting him early in the fourth round. Carroll’s right hook landed with just over 1:20 remaining in the fourth round.
Vences continually threw his right hand to Carroll’s body during the fourth round. Carroll snuck in a left-right combination and taunted Vences just before the fourth round concluded.
Vences’ right to Carroll’s body landed with about 30 seconds to go in the third round. Carroll connected with a straight left toward the end of the third round.
Vences cracked Carroll with a right hand a little more than a minute into the second round. Carroll repeatedly threw his left to Vences’ body during the second round.
Carroll’s right hook in an exchange appeared to be the most impactful punch of the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.