“I’ve had a lot of changes” – Darren Cruise to make fresh start on Celtic Clash 4

Darren Cruise [7(1)-6(0)] had a minor hiccup last weekend, but the two-time Irish title challenger will return to the ring with gusto tomorrow night in Dublin.

Since losing his Irish middleweight title fight with Luke Keeler in the Summer, Cruise has linked up with Assassin Boxing.

A comeback fight was scheduled in Portsmouth last Saturday, only to be cruelly cancelled.

Cruise was in the building, gloved up, and ready to ring walk, only to learn that last-minute opponent issues had seen the fight shelved.

A new date though was quickly sourced for the Roscommon man who now features on the ‘Celtic Clash 4’ card at the National Stadium

Cruise faces Hungarian Janos Varga [20(15)-36(23)-2] over four rounds and told Irish-Boxing.com that “it’s just to get back into the swing of things. I’m just expecting a couple of rounds, three or four rounds, whatever it is, wipe off the cobwebs and have a good 2018.”

The 27 year old describes it all as a “fresh start,” however the overall goal remains the same.

“I won’t give up until I get that Irish title,” he stated.

“I felt I should have got it the last time, I felt I should have got it twice to be honest, the super middle and the middle.”

On the 95-96 defeat to Keeler, Cruise reflects how “I was very disappointed. I trained very, very hard for that fight. I only had seven weeks really, because I only came back from Syria in April.”

“I trained for seven weeks and I felt, on the night, I should have got the decision. There was split opinions on the night, but I do believe I won the fight- pretty easily. I have watched it back and I still think the same.”

“It took me a few weeks to get back into the swing of things, but I’m back, fully motivated.”

It’s a whole new team for Cruise. The Irish Army soldier has relocated from Galway to Kildare and has had to therefore change trainers from Pawel Popko to Eddie Hyland at the N7 Boxing Academy.

Cruise is enjoying his new surroundings and outlined how “I’ve had a lot of changes. I’ve moved to Kildare for work reasons.”

“Pawel was an exceptional trainer, one of the best coaches I ever had and I was sad to leave him.”

“I clicked fairly straight away with Eddie. I knew him for a good few years so it wasn’t hard to get to know him. The thing I like about Eddie is that he was a fighter, he’s been there and done it.”

“We’re gelling well, I’m up there three times a week, and it’s going great so far.”

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