Darren Cruise has lost two fights in a row, but the Roscommon army man believes that this has made him a better boxer and he will reap the rewards on the upcoming Ricky Hatton and FS Promotions show on June 25th at the National Stadium.
In the last twelve months Cruise [6(0)-5(0)] has been outpointed by new English light heavyweight champ Tom Baker, and narrowly pipped in an Irish super middleweight title scrap with JJ McDonagh.
Rather than be despondent, the 26 year old points to the positives and told irish-boxing.com that “I am after coming off two ten-rounders.”
“There are not many lads that have done two ten-rounders straight off doing four round fights.”
“If you look at those two defeats, one is to the Irish champion and the other is to the English champion.”
“I fought Tom Baker at light heavyweight and I am coming down to middleweight now.”
“I lost to two good fighters and I am up there with them. I am just a hair away from them and I know I can mix it with anyone.”
“I have learnt a lot and I am ready to go again.”
On his Irish title defeat [a 96-95 reversal], Cruise admits that “ JJ McDonagh is the Irish champion and a very good champion.”
“It was a close fight and it could have went either way.”
“I was happy with how I performed. I let a couple of rounds slip around the middle, but overall it was a good performance and another good learning experience.”
Perhaps to his benefit, the Connacht boxer’s lack of a padded record has given him a refreshing perspective on match-making. Cruise explained that “it is at a stage now where I have five losses on my record so I have nothing to hold on to.”
“I won’t take a stupid fight for no money, but I will take opportunities when they come my way. I don’t mind the risk because I want the rewards.”
This attitude was most notably evidenced in Cruise’s willingness to face exciting Matchroom fighter Luke Keeler for the Irish 160lb belt vacated by Eamonn O’Kane.
The Mark Dunlop-promoted scrapper detailed how “we nearly had the middleweight Irish title fight with Luke Keeler on this show (June 25th), but unfortunately Luke is fighting in July on Sky so that was out the window.”
“I am hoping the next show that will be held here in Dublin by Ricky Hatton and Frank Stacey will be for the Irish middleweight title. If that is Luke it’s Luke, but I’d fight any them, if it’s Conrad Cummings then great too.”
“Fighting me over ten rounds is a dangerous fight for anyone, I don’t care what any of them say.”