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Darren Cruise wants Luke Keeler Irish title fight next

Luke Keeler defeated Lewis Taylor on Saturday night in Dublin, and there was one potential opponent following the action 4,000km away.

Darren Cruise [7(1)-5(0)] is currently stationed in Syria with the Irish Army, but he is due to return soon, and wants to take on Keeler [12(5)-2(1)] for the Irish title immediately.

A former Irish super middleweight title challenger, Cruise here ran JJ McDonagh very close, and would impress also in his final fight before deployment last Summer.

An Irish title fight was authorised by the Boxing Union of Ireland (BUI) last year, something which both were open to, but Cruise’s work commitments would force a delay.

The Roscommon man has kept up his training while in the Middle East, and wants to make the fight a reality this Summer. Cruise told Irish-Boxing.com that “I would have no problem jumping straight back into a fight with Luke.”

“I have been training extremely hard out here in Syria and I am in excellent shape. It’s all been geared towards a crack at the Irish middleweight title when I am home.”

“The BUI have already authorised myself and Luke to fight for it and, make no mistake about it, that is a complete 50:50 fight, a Fight of the Year contender. Luke and his coach Paschal [Collins] know that.”

Cruise watched footage of the eight round points win for the Dubliner at the weekend, and described how “I watched the Keeler fight, he looked good, he put in a good performance, but I think his defence wasn’t as good as it should have been. Overall though it was a very good performance.”

Indeed the Castlerea fight-anyone merchant has already spoken to Keeler about the potential for a bout which has been mooted for three years now. ‘Cool Hand’ Luke is targeting the European title this year and, considering that the BUI is an affiliate of the continental governing body, a fight for the green strap should be beneficial toward rankings.

Cruise noted how “Luke is a good friend of mine. I’ve talked to him and he wants this fight for June sometime and that suits me. It will be a complete war. Luke will fight anybody, just like me, he’s a real top fighter.”

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

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie