“Insulted” Darren Cruise still willing to enter Last Man Standing despite “joke” exclusion


Darren Cruise [8(2)-6(0)] has hit out at the Ireland’s Last Man Standing selection process and labelled his exclusion from the initial eight-man line-up “a joke.”

The two-time Irish title challenger believes he was the ideal contestant for the Prizefighter-style single-elimination tournament scheduled for March 3rd at the National Stadium and has perhaps risked the wrath of his promoters Assassin – who are running the event with Red Corner – by voicing his anger.

However, despite feeling “insulted” to be initially left out, Cruise claims he is ready to step in and fill part of the void left by the withdrawals of Padraig McCrory and Thomas Finegan.

“I was one of the first to apply for the competition and, in my opinion, it is a joke that I was picked considering I have fought for both the super middle and the middleweight Irish titles and could have got the decision in both fights,” an angry Cruise told Irish-boxing.com.

“I find it very insulting that somebody with only two fights and somebody who hasn’t fought four years were put into the tournament ahead of myself. I feel like I was the ideal candidate considering I should really be a two-weight Irish champion.”

The fighter, who competed in Prizefighter the Irish Middleweights back in 2012, is fuming but remains willing to step in and believes he has what it takes to win it.

“The fans know what they will get from me. Firstly I would most definitely not be pulling out of the tournament and, secondly, I always give my all and fight hard.

“I would be very confident looking at the line up which is very strong. I think that my experience in the pros and having competed in the Sky Sports Prizefighter would give me the edge.”

Speaking ahead at the launch of the exciting format last year, Assassin boss Kaz Evans suggested that none of their boxers would be allowed to enter the first instalment of the contest for transparency reasons.

Irish-Boxing.com still believe that may be the case, but the fighter himself hasn’t heard as much.

Indeed, considering the crisis currently ongoing, any non-Assassin fighter policy may be discarded.

“That is news to me. I wasn’t aware no Assassin boxer was allowed into the tournament,” said the Roscommon man who has had multiple all-Irish fights in his career.

Now training with Eddie Hyland in Dublin, Cruise looks to be one of the best possible replacements to step into a tournament beset by pull-outs.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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