Irish MMA fighter signs pro boxing deal


After last year stating his intention to make a move to pro boxing, Antrim cruiserweight Conor Cooke has signed a management deal and will soon debut.

A former mixed martial artist, ‘Da Crook’ will swap the octagon for the ring and has linked up with the ever-expanding Boxing Ireland Promotions stable.

It is a return rather than a new beginning for 30-year-old Cooke who, as an underage amateur, claimed Antrim, Ulster, all-Ireland, and Four Nations titles.

Following a move to MMA, with a stop-off in kickboxing, Cooke competed in 13 professional fights over a five-year career.

In this time he scored six wins (five knockouts, one decision) and seven defeats (six submissions, one knockout), including three appearances on big BAMMA cards.

After stating his intention to return to boxing last year, Cooke made a brief foray onto the semi-pro scene and claimed the UBBF Irish cruiserweight title with a win over former Irish professional light heavyweight champion John Waldron.

Turning pro, Cooke joins a stable which includes the likes of BUI Celtic featherweight champion Eric Donovan and upcoming BUI Celtic super featherweight title challenger Colin O’Donovan.

The Ulsterman is the outfit’s second new signing of the week following Cork lightweight Dean O’Connell.

“I always wanted to go pro and last year I decided it was now or never,” said Cooke.

“I’ve been trying to get back for the last five years, I just didn’t know anyone on the scene, I’d been out for a long time.”

“I’m known as a boxer in MMA circles, I was knocking guys out with punches.”

A debut date for Cooke will be announced shortly.

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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