That’s the view of the victor of their all-Irish classic.
The Limerick side of the Munster maul pipped an enthralling all-action title fight to become the only person ever to hold BUI titles at two weights simultaneously.
It’s the kind of win that should open doors for him across two weights and send him the direction of ‘bigger’ names.
Olympian Emmett Brennan has been mentioned previously and could be money generating bout, former Senior champion Thomas O’Toole is well backed and could provide passage to an American-hosted title fight, there has been mention of John Carpenter and the 28-year-old has made it clear he would have no issue with a paid away day.
However, speaking after eight grueling rounds with ‘The Kingdown Warrior’, the IGB fighter said it HAS to be Cronin again next.
It’s not that Morrissey [5(1)-0] is massively keen on a re-run, more he has found a ‘set the tone’ brother in the Kerry favourite and as a fighting man believes his most recent foe has earned another shot at the title.
“It was a great fight. I’ve a lot of respect for Kevin, nice fella, he showed real sportsmanship the way he came up after the fight. That shows the real measure of the man and the character he has,” Morrissey tells Irish-boxing.com in his dressing room after the win.
“I said to Kevin both our stocks went up and he deserves a rematch. I’ll entertain that and it’s got to be for the Irish title. That’s something massively exciting in itself.
“You get to know each other quite well in a fight like that. I think he was hurt a little bit early in the fight and he definitely had me in trouble in the seventh. He didn’t hurt me with any shots but his volume had me in trouble. I think he is a top fighter to be honest.”
That seventh looked like it had the potential to swing momentum in a tight fight the way of the Jonathan Lewins trained fighters’ favour.
It was possibly the only round of the fight that was won wide and the only time referee Padraig O’Reachtagain looked like he might step in and stop it. Morrissey went into the last in need of a boost and some inspiration. He says the thought of some people he holds dear and the corner work of his coach gave him it – and luckily so as bouncing back to draw the last three-minute session won him the fight.
“The seventh round speaks for itself, I was out on my feet in the seventh,” he admits honestly when explaining just how tough the fight was. “I was just thinking of the few faces I keep close to me. I was thinking of people I don’t want to let down,” he adds when asked how he came out fighting in the eight before stating Kelly also played a part.
“In between rounds you’ve to deal with Shaun Kelly, spit flying out of his mouth and screaming at you. He did his thing in the corner, what a top man he is.”
In a split second, the thoughts of winning turned to Elation and despair— Boxing Tickets NI (@BoxingTicketsNI) February 5, 2023
What a fight between Kevin Cronin & Jamie Morrissey
Can't wait to watch it back#CroninMorrissey #TheClimb pic.twitter.com/cu9JVceM9j
Morrissey wasn’t overly happy with his display but was delighted with the result and the grit he showed in the dog fight.
“I wasn’t near my best. I don’t want to get into that but I’ve got a lot more to show. I’m my own worse critic and I think I’ve a lot more to show.
“A true measure of a man is his heart and I think I showed my heart, praise God. I have to be proud of myself. No one has done what I’ve done. Three undefeated records, Irish Fight of the Year and two titles in five fights. No one has done that before and I’ve a lot more to show. The fights are only going to get tougher,so I’ll have to show what I have in my locker.”
Reflecting on the fast paced grueling nature of the fight he adds: “I don’t think everyone is cut out for something like that. You have to be a bit sick in the head to even embark on what just happened in there, to withstand that you have to be a bit tapped.”
Morrissey also confirmed the classic could have had terrestrial TV exposure via TG4 if a second a second domestic fight found a home on the MHD bill, and he bemoaned the unwillingness of others to take a similar risk to him and Cronin as a result.
“This should have been on TG4 but no one wanted to fight each other. If they got a second domestic fight this would have been on TG4, imagine that. Everything would have gone through the roof after a fight like that.TG4 would have been shut down, it would have broke Twitter.”
Photo Credit Mark Mead Photography