Irish MMA star to become professional boxer

A top Irish mixed martial artist is to make the move to professional boxing in the coming months.

Conor ‘Da Crook’ Cooke will swap the octagon for the ring in what will be a return to the Antrim fighter’s first love. As an underage amateur, the big puncher claimed titles at Antrim, Ulster, and all-Ireland level, before moving to kickboxing and eventually mixed martial arts.

A five-year career in professional MMA saw Cooke compete in thirteen fights, earning six wins (five knockouts, one decision) and seven defeats (six submissions, one knockout). In this time the Ulsterman appeared on three big Bamma cards, as well as in four Cage Contenders contests.

A middleweight (185lbs) in mixed martial arts, Cooke will compete at cruiserweight (200lbs) in boxing where his aim is to claim a British title.

The KO artist has linked up with Dee Walsh and Ray Ginley at the Immanuel Boxing Academy for his assault on the pros, joining the likes of Lewis Crocker, Joe Hillerby, Ger Healy, and Mathew Fitzsimons in the new stable. Promotional details for Cooke, who turns 30 this week, will be announced in the near future, and he looks set to fight regularly at home.

Cooke joins an Irish cruiserweight scene that sees Tommy McCarthy in domestic title contention, while Ian Tims and Luke Watkins are seemingly on a collision course for the Irish title, with Mayo’s Gary Sweeney also rising through the ranks.

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