‘Gifted fighter’ JJ McDonagh won’t gift Darren Cruise the Irish title when the pair trade leather in London on April 9, but he will have to hand it over after 10 rounds warns the challenger.
Cruise believes he is in control of his own destiny and stresses he has done all he can to ensure he fulfills a long term Irish title ambition.
When the Rosscommon native returned after a two year sabbatical back in 2014 he set his sights on an Irish title at either middle or super middleweight.
The 26 year old solider has finally got his shot and is confident he can dethrone McDonagh when the Mullingar native makes his first defence since winning the strap at the K2 Leisure Centre.
“I think it’s fair to say I didn’t need to be asked twice about taking this fight,” Cruise told Irish-boxing.com
“It is a fight I’ve wanted for a long time not because it’s JJ, more so the fact he’s the champion and I want that belt.
“I’m very excited about this fight I’ve trained incredibly hard in Galway with my coach Pawel Popko, we really left no stone unturned, every box was ticked to get me in the best possible shape to win this fight.”
“JJ is an exceptionally gifted fighter an excellent southpaw and I’m under no illusions that this is going to be a hard fight, but I’m also very confident that all my hard work will pay off and I’ll be bringing the Irish super middleweight belt back to Roscommon and Galway.”
Cruise and McDonagh have traded leather before in the all Irish Prizefighter back 2012. Southpaw McDonagh came out on top that night before losing to Eamonn O’Kane in a close final, but Crusie warns against reading too much into their first encounter.
“JJ beat me in the Prizefighter in 2012, but that was over 3 rounds. JJ is very hard to beat over three rounds because of his style, but this fight is 10 rounds it’s a different ball game. I’m a four times Irish champion as an amateur and to become an Irish champion as a professional would make me very proud and that is exactly what I plan to do.”