Darren Cruise hadn’t even taken his gloves off after registering the first stoppage win of his career and he was looking forward to lacing them up again for another domestic tilt.
The Roscommon man looked more fit and destructive than ever in a skillful and intent-laden performance, but wasn’t ready to bask in the glory of an impressive win directly after the clash.
Rather, Cruise was keen to talk about what’s next – and the fighter, who lost by a round in an Irish super middleweight title clash with JJ McDonagh, instantly expressed an Irish middleweight title desire and name dropped fellow Irish 160lbers Luke Keeler and Conrad Cummings.
Speaking after defeating the previously unbeaten Ferenc Katona, who was something of an unknown quantity, on the FS Promotions/Hatton Promotions ‘The Future’ card Cruise told Irish-boxing.com he wanted an Irish title fight next.
Indeed, he would travel to America to fight Cummings on the undercard of Carl Frampton versus Leo Santa Cruise, or would take on Keeler, who fights in America the day before, in his home town.
“That was a good win and a good fight – so Luke Keeler, Conrad Cummings, whoever, come on let’s make this Irish title fight,” said the Irish Defence Forces solider.
“I want a that Irish title next so let’s make this fight. I went in to take this lad out and make a bit of a statement.”
“I wanted to look good in there and I think I have done that.”
“I haven’t shied away from anyone yet – just look at my last fight.”
The Rossie didn’t go as far to say that the pair are avoiding him, but feels they know the threat he brings, explaining that “I don’t think they are really shying away from me per say, but they know it will be a tough fight.”
“I think me and Luke in an Irish title fight in Dublin would be a big fight.”
“If Conrad wants me to fight him in America I will do that to. There is no point in hanging around anymore.”
Cruise did take time to reflect on his victory and claims he got the stoppage and made the statement he wanted. Describing about his maiden early victory he added that “it was brilliant to get it. I wanted it going in there, that is what I wanted coming to Dublin this weekend.”
“He [Katona] was game and he came to fight. Maybe I loaded up a bit in the first round, I wanted to take him out, but once I settled back to my boxing it was clear the stoppage would come.”
“It was a good shot I caught him with, he can argue it was premature but to be honest it was going to happen anyway. The referee has to look out for the welfare of the fighters and I was catching him with heavy shots, it was coming,” he continued before commenting how big he would be if he made a permanent move to middleweight.
“The lighter weight may help with power. I will be a big punching middle and lets be honest I will be a big middleweight. If you compare me to Luke Keeler and Conrad Cummings I am a stockier more well-built middleweight.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)