Kevin Cronin: From kicking points to punching pros

County Kerry isn’t known as ‘The Kingdom’ because of its all-conquering dominance in the boxing world, or even in Ireland.

In fact, it currently only boasts one male fighter in the paid ranks, Tralee’s tenacious Kevin Cronin [2(1)-0] – Limerick based Siobhan O’Leary is the counties only other pro operator.

However, like most sports-crazy youths growing up in Kerry, Cronin tried his hand at Gaelic football before squeezing them into boxing gloves.

Talking on the His & Hers Boxing Podcast, the 24-year-old said “I grew up playing in goals at the start.

“I wasn’t bad but I got sick of being freezing cold, in the middle of Dingle or somewhere, standing in a goal while the rest of them were lovely and warm running around the pitch.

“I moved into corner back, then into full back until one day they tried me out in wing-forward and I was scoring, doing some damage around midfield, breaking the ball, but unfortunately I would end up breaking more than the ball!”

The keen Kerryman’s killer instincts would often surface during matches and one incident even led to him receiving a 6-12 month ban from the pitch.

“There was this fella constantly nagging (me), trying to get something going and I was never for the pushing and shoving, it’s either a fight or it’s not,” added Cronin.

“Of course, he pushed me, not expecting to get a slap to the jaw and then that was it.

“Keep me away from the Gaelic football because it’s nothing but trouble when I’m involved with it.”

The undefeated pro began putting his fists to better use by joining his local boxing club and soon earned a reputation for knocking his opponents out.

However, sometimes three rounds wasn’t enough time to land the punch that got him in so much trouble in his Gaelic football days and he decided that the professional game would be better suited for his style.

2020 was a forgettable year for The Kingdom Warrior as Covid-19 robbed him of the chance to improve his record, but 2021 is already looking brighter.

The lively light-heavyweight is scheduled to fight an unnamed opponent in Luxembourg on March 20th.