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Cruise: I want JJ McDonagh’s Irish title

Army man Darren Cruise has JJ McDonagh on his radar and is hopeful he will finally get the chance to challenge for the Irish super middleweight title in 2016.

The Rosscomon super middleweight has been keen on domestic glory for some time, but the opportunity to challenge for the strap seems to continually pass him by.

JJ McDonagh claimed the title back in 2012 with victory over eventual light middleweight Irish champ Lee Murtagh, but hasn’t defended it since.

Cruise, who impressed but ultimately lost in a short notice fight with English prospect Tom Baker last time out, hopes to end both the wait for McDonagh to make a defence and the Mullingar man’s reign as Irish champ this year.

Irish Champion JJ McDonagh on Cruise's radar
Irish Champion JJ McDonagh on Cruise’s radar

“I’m hoping 2016 is going to be a busy year for me after coming off a points loss to Tom Baker in the York Hall over 10 rounds.”

“I gained a lot of confidence from that fight considering I’d never been past four rounds and I took the fight at two weeks notice. I feel I gave a good account of myself and I’m looking to push on now,” Cruise told Irish-boxing.com.

“I’m really targeting the Irish super middleweight title this year. The title hasn’t been contested in a few years so that’s my main goal. JJ Mc Donagh is the champion and I have no problem fighting him. I’ve been training very hard behind the scenes with my trainer Pawel Popko in Galway and I feel like I’m learning everyday.”

“I’m really looking to put all my hard work into a fight, but unfortunately politics plays a huge part in this sport and living in Galway means it isn’t as easy get on the big shows.”

However Cruise isn’t to disheartened, and reasoned that “I’m still only 25 so I’m plenty young enough to achieve what I believe I am capable of.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years