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‘I’m coming for them’ – Cronin issues warning after impressive TKO win

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Kerry light heavyweight boxer Kevin Cronin has set his sights on national glory after his fourth round TKO victory over Boris Mrkonjic in Luxembourg.

The Milltown native was hoping to get six rounds under his belt against the Bosnian on Saturday but his opponent could only manage three before crying off with an apparent shoulder injury before the start of the fourth.

It was another comprehensive win for the Kingdom Warrior and speaking to the Killarney Advertiser this week, he said he was happy with his display.

“I thought I performed very, very well. Firstly, judging myself, I know I can perform a lot better, but I also proved to a lot of people the level that I am at. The reaction that I’m getting to the fight and how I boxed is unbelievable. Irish-Boxing.com have mentioned that I’m ready for the step-up to big fights at 3-0, so obviously I’ve done something right. But I have a lot more gears to go through.”

Mrkonjic came out swinging, which came as a surprise to Cronin, but the Kerryman showed good composure to take control of the bout.

“I expected him to start off a bit cooler and then get behind his boxing and try to take me out. But he really came out of the traps – he was looking to knock me out from the get-go. I knew he was going to be a big fella but I did expect him to be that solid. He was a huge light heavyweight.

“The gameplan worked out perfectly. I stayed out of the danger zone and I showed that I’m not just a puncher, I’m a boxer. He was coming to take my head off and I kept him at range. I stood out when I needed to stand out. The main part of the gameplan was to keep a busy jab, and I did that, and to keep picking them jabs to the body, and I did that as well. It started taking a toll on him and it was setting up the bigger shots at the end of the second round. In the third round then when I started applying the pressure, the tank was starting to run empty just from them little jabs to the mid-section.

“I didn’t expect to take him out ‘til later to be honest. I was hoping for the full six rounds and I thought he’d bring me there because he’s a tough fella. I thought he would drag me to the fifth or sixth round before I’d find an opening. But the gameplan went so well, I got the opening a bit earlier and got him down in the third.

“He was complaining about a shoulder injury but, to be honest with you, watching back the footage, there was nowhere where he actually got injured. I think he was just looking for a way out at that stage.”

Cronin’s is expecting another foreign fight in June, but he remains optimistic of a home event, possibly in Killarney, in the medium term.

“The fight I want is not a certain person,” he said. “I want to fight for the main titles in Ireland, which are the Celtic and Irish titles. I want to do the traditional route, and I want to go on to the European after that. So, whoever is holding those titles, I’m coming for them.

“And if Taylor McGoldrick wants it in the meantime, he can have it.”

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Séamus Moynihan tops Kerry manager poll ahead of Jack O’Connor and Peter Keane

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by Adam Moynihan

Although it now appears as though he could be a selector on the Stephen Stack ticket, four-time All-Ireland winner Séamus Moynihan has topped our ‘Next Kerry Manager’ poll by collecting over one-third of the overall vote.

Around 37% of respondents said that Moynihan should be the next Kerry boss with 23% of fans backing former manager Jack O’Connor. The team’s most recent bainisteoir, Peter Keane, received 18% of the votes.

Another former manager, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, is next in line on 10%, although it is believed that he is not willing to return to the fold due to work commitments.

In addition to the four main candidates mentioned above, readers were also invited to nominate their own preferred candidate. This open field threw up 16 more names with former Kerry and Dr Crokes manager Pat O’Shea the most popular entry. The Killarney man received around 3.5% of the vote.

Donie Buckley got roughly half as many votes as O’Shea, and the other prospective managers ended up with less than 1% each.

MOYNIHAN/STACK

Glenflesk native Moynihan enjoyed a glittering playing career for The Kingdom between 1992 and 2006, the highlight perhaps coming in the year 2000 when he captained his county to All-Ireland glory. He has since taken on coaching roles with his own club and with Fossa and was part of Darragh Ó Sé’s Kerry U21 management team in 2015.

It had been suggested that Monaghan’s defensive coach Donie Buckley would be part of the Moynihan ticket. Buckley was also a member of Peter Keane’s backroom team, but Keane relieved him of his duties in the early stages of the 2020 season.

However, after this survey was completed, Tony Leen of the Irish Examiner reported that Moynihan and Buckley are, indeed, part of the same ticket, but the manager’s name attached is that of current Killarney Legion boss Stephen Stack.

Stack himself had a long and distinguished playing career with The Kingdom and as a manager led Austin Stacks to the County Championship in 2014 and Legion to an East Kerry Championship in 2019.

The Listowel native is also rumoured to be calling on Dara Ó Cinnéide and Mickey Ned O’Sullivan as selectors, with Joe O’Connor filling the role of strength and conditioning coach.

Stack was not considered to be a realistic candidate at the time of the survey; he was one of the 14 managers who received less than 1% of the vote.

KERRY SUPPORTERS SURVEY

Q: Who should be the next manager of the Kerry senior football team?

Séamus Moynihan 36.7%

Jack O’Connor  23.4%

Peter Keane 18.1%

Eamonn Fitzmaurice 10%

Pat O’Shea 3.5%

Donie Buckley 1.6%

Others* 6.7%

(Carried out online on September 21/22. 431 respondents.)

*Mike Quirke, John Sugrue, Jim McGuinness, Jim Gavin, Jerry O’Sullivan, Maurice Fitzgerald, Tomás Ó Sé, Johnny Crowley, Stephen Stack, Kieran Donaghy, John Evans, Paul Galvin, Marc Ó Sé, Liam Kearns.

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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