Boxing

Tevin Farmer on why top fighters at 130 pounds aren’t facing each other

Tevin Farmer was in a jovial mood when talking with Sporting News ahead of his IBF junior lightweight title defense on Friday night, as he takes on Jono Carroll at the Liacouras Center in Farmer’s hometown of Philadelphia, live and exclusively on DAZN.

“I have a problem making weight all the time,” Farmer said laughing loudly in reference to WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter having to cut his hair to make weight for his fight with Yordenis Ugas last Saturday. “Just kidding. I think making 130 pounds is pretty easy.”

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But Farmer’s mood quickly went from joking around to dead serious when the conversation shifted to his weight class.

The 130-pound division features great fighters that include Farmer, WBC titlist Miguel Berchelt, WBA champion Gervonta Davis, WBA (regular) titleholder Andrew Cancio and WBO titlist Masayuki Ito. 

On paper, everything looks great. While he respects what those guys have accomplished, the 28-year-old feels the division will never progress if the top fighters aren’t facing one another.

“It doesn’t matter who has the belts because nobody is fighting each other,” said Farmer (28-4-1, one no-contest, 6 KOs). “I really don’t care for that. Until world champions are fighting world champions, then it will be pretty good for the division. Other than that, there’s nothing really happening in the division. We have some good people, but they aren’t fighting each other.” 

He’s right. Fans want to see champions taking on other champions to see who the best really is. That has always been the case because of the politics that have plagued the sport for years. Those same politics caused fights like Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao to not happen when both were in the primes of their careers. It might even cause Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder to be heavily delayed.

Some have put the onus on the promoters and some have put it on the boxers for not pushing the issue of making the best fights happen regardless of which network and promotion they’re fighting under. Farmer doesn’t say who should be blamed, but gives his hot take as to why the best aren’t facing each other at 130 pounds.

“Because nobody wants to take a risk,” Farmer said. “I mean, if you’re a great fighter, you should feel like it isn’t a risk. I don’t feel like it’s a risk. I know I can beat the other champions in my division. I would like to fight all of them. So, for me, it would be easy. It’s easy for me to say that because I know they can’t beat me. But for a guy that’s unsure, it would be a lot harder.” 

Many are expecting Farmer to beat Carroll and move on to a bigger fight. According to proboxingodds.com , Farmer is a 10-1 favorite to win in his own backyard. What comes afterward if Farmer gets through Carroll?

A Davis-Farmer showdown would be the biggest bout to make at junior lightweight. They have been going back and forth on Twitter since the summer of 2017. At times, it has gotten personal between the two. It’s the one fight that Farmer would prefer to have, though he doesn’t think it will happen any time soon because of Davis and his camp. 

Why you so worried bout me fat boy. Better start making weight. https://t.co/uQTncOPHS9

“Let’s be serious about that, we know Gervonta doesn’t want to fight me,” Farmer says point blank.

Farmer has an option B if the Davis fight cannot be made. 

“If Cancio wants to fight me next, I’ll take that fight,” Farmer said. “I liked what he did to Machado. It would be easier since we are on DAZN and our promoters get along well. Hell yeah, I would take that fight.”

Carroll (16-0, 3 KOs) is coming in and looking to squash Farmer’s plans of future unification bouts. The 26-year-old earned the title shot by going to a split draw against Guillaume Frenois in December. Even though the Irishman is undefeated, Farmer sees no difficulty in changing that. 

“S—t,” Farmer said point blank when asked about what challenges Carroll presents. “He’s going to get his a— kicked. You hear fighters say, ‘Oh yeah, so and so is a great fighter. He’s going to give me a tough fight.’ When they say that, they know damn well those guys aren’t going to give them a tough fight. They just want to make people think it’s going to be a tough fight like when Gervonta fought Ruiz last month. He kept saying Ruiz was a tough opponent. In my head, I knew he was full of s—t. That’s why he and his team picked him to be the opponent. He knew he would beat Ruiz’s a—.”  

Farmer added: “Jono was talking s—t, saying he can beat me and is going to take my title. That’s why I wanted to face him, so I can kick his a—. I have no idea how I’m going to win. I just know he’s going to be bloody. I’ll tell you that for a fact. No one is going to recognize him when I’m done with him. I promise you that.”

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