The Kerry fighter and Waterford’s McCarthy have been mandated to fight for the Irish super middleweight title since the summer.
However, their path to the ring hasn’t been smooth. After a contract pothole was successfully navigated and a deal agreed, a proposed September 16 clash fell through a week from fight night.
Talk re, what has grown into an eagerly anticipated grudge match, has quietened since but the ‘Kingdom Warrior’ says the fight or his Irish title ambition hasn’t gone away.
The former BUI Celtic and Irish light-heavyweight title challenger says attempts to find the fight a show to populate are ongoing.
“That Irish title fight with Craig is still next for us,” he tells Irish-boxing.com. “We just need a date. There’s been some talk but no dates confirmed as of yet.
“I set out to get the Irish title this year and go all guns blazing for the European in 2024, so hopefully that plan can still go ahead and won’t be delayed by many months,” he adds before putting a time frame on things.
“December is ideal, January or early February with a push but I’m not putting my career on hold for one fight either, so beyond that, we will start looking at bigger things but ideally Irish title next.”
It has been a difficult end to the year for the popular Jonathan Lewins trained fighter, but he is determined to look toward the possibilities of the future rather than the disappointment of the very recent past.
“It has been a very frustrating few weeks. I was only a few days away from getting my hands on the Irish strap and completing one of my goals but there is no point in looking in the past. I’ve just gotta get it done again.”
Cronin is working to make sure he is ready to put on a show when the grudge match does come around.
“I’m still in Dublin every week preparing for a title fight and preparing as if it’s only being a few weeks out. I’m in terrific condition and still learning every day. I won’t go too much into that but you’ll see when we finally get in there. Believe me my short-term goal of stopping Craig for the Irish is on.
The Irish title is just part of the Cronin plan, he sees it as step one to a European strap and some massive nights in his home county.
“I plan on marching straight on towards the EU champ and bringing big nights and the bright lights to Kerry. No sh*te talk, you can see the noise some of the Kerry people make when traveling for my fights. They steal the show, imagine an arena packed with them and how loud they will be when titles are on the line.”
Cronin also reveals with no date in sight the bad blood and tension between the pair hasn’t cleared.
“I haven’t talked to Craig no,” he says. “I talked to his manager but not that fella, stuff has been said and a lot of delusional sh*te, so there are no friendly conversations going on but I won’t be wasting my time having a go at him either. I’ll get him in the ring and go right through him to get the belt.”