Hall order for Cronin
Kerry hopeful Kev makes big London debut tonight
Kevin Cronin flew from Kerry Airport yesterday ready for the fight of his life tonight at London's famous York Hall.
The light-heavyweight made his pro debut with a sensational knockout of Pole Mateusz Lisiak at the National Stadium in March.
Tonight, as part of what promoter Leonard Gunning calls "The Irish Invasion" he fights Jevgenijs Andrejevs, a durable Latvian journeyman with vast experience.
"This lad has gone the distance with some big fellas including Tony Bellew," said Cronin. "I was preparing for an orthodox fighter but it was changed to this guy who's a southpaw. He's tough. You could hit him with a sledge and he'll still come forward. So I'll have to box smart."
Cronin, a one-time Munster champion, is a recent convert to the pro ranks.
"I thought it would be easier, moving slower and planting my feet," he said. "But it was hard to get used to. I love the way Jonathan Lewin's coaching style is working with me. Because I got my debut fight very quickly, I still had a lot of the amateur style, bouncing around."
As he packed his bags for London, Cronin said: "I'm hoping to be able to show off the improvements at the York Hall. But this opponent won't be easy to take out."
As an amateur, Kevin boxed at heavyweight and super-heavyweight. "I used to love a fight when I was boxing at heavyweight," he told me. "Now I like to be able to throw the hands and move. I'm loving the style. My fitness levels are a lot better at this weight."
The Kingdom Warrior's opponent tonight has survived the best that Bellew, Paddy McDonagh and Tommy Fury could throw at him.
But Cronin is known to have crunching power.
"As well as boxing smart, as a pro there's a lot of power involved when you're planting your feet and letting those shots go," he explained. "You can't load up on every shot but you need your power as well."
The exciting 22-year old from Cashen Vale BC, who stands 6 ft 2 in, is a loss to the amateur ranks but explained: "I thought pro boxing wasn't for me. Then a few bad decisions went against me in the amateurs and I saw it happen to a lot of people so switching became a very easy decision."
Bad decisions are hurting amateur boxing.
"People don't realise how much it happens," Cronin added. "You think there's just a robbery here and there but it's everywhere. They all notice the Michael Conlan robbery in the Olympics but don't see it happening every day and at every tournament."