Headline News

Luke Keeler v Darren Cruise Irish title fight confirmed

The long-mooted Irish middleweight title fight between Luke Keeler [12(5)-2(1)] and Darren Cruise [7(1)-5(0)] has finally been confirmed.

As expected, the two will trade leather in the headline fight on the Red Corner Promotions ‘For Honour & Pride’ card at the National Stadium on Saturday June 24th.

The Boxing Union of Ireland had ordered the bout last Summer but, with Roscommon’s Cruise being deployed to serve for the Irish Army in Syria, the fight was delayed.

Cruise is back home this month and has agreed to face Dublin’s Keeler for the green belt at the home of Irish boxing in just over 11 weeks time, with the Connacht man looking for a title tussle immediately, rather than building towards one with a succession of warm-up fights.

The pair are relatively friendly, however there has been some niggles in the prolonged build-up, with both fighters offering to bet their entire purses in a winner-takes-all match-up.

Keeler has headlined the past two Red Corner shows, outpointing Bradley Pryce and Lewis Taylor to win and retain the BUI Celtic middleweight belt and move to #14 in the European rankings.

It will be one day short of a year from his last fight when Cruise takes to the ring this Summer. The Castlerea fighter has Irish title previous too, having been narrowly outpointed by JJ McDonagh for the super middleweight title last year in Crawley.

It is a second high-quality Irish title fight made this year following the super featherweight clash last month between Declan Geraghty and Cruise’s MHD stablemate James Tennyson. In addition, a heavyweight battle for the green belt between Sean Turner and Con Sheehan also looks set to be made soon.

The fight will ensure that the belt, last won by Eamonn O’Kane over Anthony Fitzgerald in Dundalk back in 2013, will return to circulation.

Photo Credit:
Luke Keeler – Laszlo Geczo Photography
Darren Cruise – The Fighting Irish

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