18 July 2010 – Steve Wellings
Featuring as one of two debutants on DolPhils August 7 show in Dublin, Roscommon super-middleweight Darren Cruise is aiming to make a splash in the professional game and fast track himself to an Irish title shot.
I wouldnt be in this game if I didnt think I could go the top. First of all I have to get an Irish title shot before I get any further, explained the confident 20-year-old who mixed with the likes of Kenny Egan in the amateurs.
Ive been boxing since I was seven, thats 13 years training and Im ready for the next step in my career. Im always watching professional boxing on the telly and for the last three or four years Ive been seriously thinking about making the switch.
Top coach Phil Sutcliffe has offered Darren the chance to realise his dreams and he now travels up to Dublin from Roscommon on a regular basis to train alongside the growing pack of stars in Sutcliffes Crumlin gym. Cruise also ticks over in his amateur club in Roscommon.
I had a good amateur career, he continued. Winning seven Connacht titles, which in England would be the equivalent of winning a county title, and four All-Ireland titles, boxing for the national team on 14 or 15 occasions overall I am happy with my time as an amateur.
I dont just have one way of fighting; I can change my style to suit the opponent. I can box or fight and do whatever it takes to win, I set-up as orthodox.
Darren feels his approach is more suited to the pro game and adds that in the past people have compared his style to Roy Jones.
I have a weekend job working as a doorman in a nightclub but I will be boxing on a full-time basis and during the week its all about the training, he enthused.
Im hoping that a big following will come up to Dublin for the fight and lots of people have told me that theyre going to my debut. I had a big fan base as an amateur so hopefully they will keep following me as a professional.
In his first paid contest Cruise is scheduled to face slippery Englishman James Tucker, the Doncaster veteran who extended Belfast prospect Brian Cusack on his debut in May. Cruise and Cusack could conceivably clash at some point in the future, but for now Darren is taking aim at the super-middleweight talent in Ireland.
I dont think there is anybody in the country that can beat me at my weight, he said, so hopefully in four or five fights I can get a crack at the Irish title and then move on from there.