It wouldn’t be as big as an All Ireland Senior Football Championship win, but Darren Cruise says he has more of a chance of bringing sporting glory to the county of Roscommon than the county’s footballers.
The 73 year wait for Sam Maguire may go on, but Castlerea’s Cruise is confident he can bring back the national glory for the Rossies.
Cruise’s clash with Luke Keeler is one Roscommon versus Dublin clash the county can win predicts the Soldier – and he claims nothing would give him more joy than winning the green belt for his home countytwo weeks before the football team take on Galway in the Connacht final.
“It might not be as big as an All-Ireland win, but we have a better chance of me being crowned the best in Ireland!”
“I am the only professional boxer from Roscommon. I think the last one was 100 years ago, maybe someone can correct me on that, but that is what I believe.”
“To bring an Irish title to the county would be amazing for me, very special. It would make me the proudest man in the World.”
‘Dynamite’s’ clash with ‘Cool Hand’ Luke Keeler has been built as a genuine 50-50 clash.
However, Keeler’s record does make for more favourable reading. The Dubliner goes into the clash on the back of wins over Bradley Pryce and Lewis Taylor and has 12 wins to his name. Cruise on the other hand lost to Tom Baker and JJ McDonagh in recent bouts and lost to Lee Murtagh and John Hutchinson early in his career.
However, he is adamant his slate doesn’t make for honest reading and warns against anyone paying too much attention to what Boxrec has to say.
“When I look back on my career it makes me mad. I had to take chances. Before now shows were few and far between. There was nothing going on, so in order to fight I had to take chances, maybe chances I wasn’t ready for, but I had to take them.”
“I had no money behind me so I had to take fights early in my career. I went and fought JJ McDonagh at super middle, Tom Baker at light heavy, I took those risks away from home. I have done it the hard way and that will stand me.”
“I haven’t a padded record, I have real fights. I think that showed in my last performance, okay the lad wasn’t the best fighter in the World, but I showed the experience I gained.”
The card this weekend also features an Irish title fight between Stevie Collins and Paddy McDonagh, as well as appearances from Chris Blaney, Ray Moylette, Victor Rabeii, Allan Phelan, Thomas Finnegan, and Craig O’Brien.
Tickets for the June 24th show cost €40 (general) and €60 (ringside) and are available from the boxers involved.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)