June 25 Jonny Stapleton
Anthony Fitzgerald is not only willing to fight Darren Cruise is he willing to put his career on the line against his former sparring partner.
The EBA middleweight, Irish super middleweight and WBF intercontinental champ is adamant he was never officially offered a fight with his stable mate, despite claims from Cruise that Fitzgerald was avoiding him.
Indeed, the Pride said when muted about a possible Dublin Roscommon clash at the press conference to announce Henry Coyle’s August 12 WBF title tilt, he instantly agreed to the fight in principle, but added the only thing has heard about the bout since was “untrue” rumours he opted against the middleweight clash.
WBA world number 10, Fitzgerald also laughed off suggestions he was running scared and claimed the only reason he would consider not taking the fight was for his stable mates safety.
The controversial has no doubts he would stop the Roscommon prospect and revealed he would take the fight and hang up his gloves if he lost.
“I am still waiting to hear back about the fight. I went up to the press conference they asked me would I fight Darren and I said ‘Yes‘. I have been training in the mean time in case it did get made, but since then I haven’t heard a word. I honestly don‘t know where he is getting I am avoiding him from. I would fight him. I think I would stop him early and if he beat me I would retire, ” Fitzgerald told www.irish-boxing.com.
Cruise and Fitzgerald’s trainer Sutcliffe echoed the Dubliner’s claims and revealed the inner city Dub hadn’t turned down the bout.
In fact the Crumlin Gym boss maintains he advised the undefeated 21 year old against getting in the ring with his more experienced counterpart.
“I think this has been hyped upped. The two boys got on well and spar together all the time. It was a Mickey mouse conversation that blew out of proportion. It is a stupid fight for Darren, but I understand he wants to keep busy and realistically there are not too many fights out there at present. I think he was offered the fight flippantly. I know the two boys. I see them in the gym and I told Darren that is a silly fight. I know he wants to keep busy, but again it is a silly fight. I am still looking after Darren, but we only see him once a week. He is a talented kid and a good lad, but realistically for the improvement needed he would have to be based here full time. He is a good prospect, but he is not ready for Fitzy yet.”
With Ciaran Healey and Cruise both calling out the Sutcliffe trained fighter Fitzgerald’s name has been bleeping loudly on the domestic radar of late.
However, his coach is confident he can make an announcement of world level note over the coming weeks.
“Anto is number 10 in the world and we have been looking for fights for him far and wide, but its hard to get world level fights. However, there will be a big announcement hopefully next week. I don’t want to say anything until everything is signed,” Sutcliffe added before Fitzgerald had his say on the matter.
“It is great to be world number 10 but it has been hard to get fights since. I tried to get on the Castlebar show and had talks with Brian Peters down and the Hyland show. I couldn’t’t get on either, but hopefully we have big and good news to announce soon.”