John Hutchinson got his professional boxing career off to a flying start on Friday night in front of a packed house at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar, County Mayo.
He overcame the tough and experienced local favourite Darren Cruise to chalk up a six round victory on points in the fight of the night which had the entire crowd cheering wildly on their feet.
Making his debut at the age of 26 a number of question marks arose regarding Hutchinson’s ability to cut the mustard in the pro game against an experienced campaigner such as Roscommon’s Darren Cruise on his debut.
But the ‘Buncrana Banger’ answered all the questions in the ring and had the members of the press from the national media raving about his gutsy performance.
Cruise, a former SKY Sports Prizefighter contestant, who usually campaigns at Super-Middleweight was the naturally bigger man in the ring, sprung out of the blocks and attacked his debuting opponent from the first bell.
Little of the classy boxing he displayed during his amateur career featured in this six round fight as the combatants fought at close quarters in what quickly became a slugfest with the ‘Dynamite’ Cruise throwing shots from every angle at the Donegal fighter.
As the fight progressed Hutchinson settled into a rythem a connected with a number of meaty uppercuts that rocked Cruise but the Castlerea-based boxer dug in to tie the debutant up and began to wrestle in an attempt unsettle Hutchinson.
With Hutchinson suffering two cuts from head clashes and both fighters breathing heavily in the final rounds Hutchinson powered through with a late flourish to earn the Buncrana fighter the victory on judge Emile Tiedt’s scorecard by five rounds to one.
“I knew I was taking on a mammoth task for my first fight by facing a bigger and more experienced guy like Cruise who was Irish champion during his amateur career, but sometime you got to snatch these opportunities when they coming along and I did just that,” panted Hutchinson after the fight.
“It all came together though, the risk paid off and I got the victory I wanted so much, but I now know there is a massive difference between being fit and being ‘fight fit’ and I’ve a serious amount of work to do if I want to progress to even thinking about fighting for any level of titles.
“Cruise caught me with some perfectly timed left hooks and I take my hat off to him he never gave me a minutes rest, but I dug deep and did what I had to do and thats what counts. When it was getting past the fourth round my lungs were about to explode but I could hear the all the supporters in the crowd that had coming down in buses from Donegal cheering me on and that gave me the extra 10% I needed to get over the line,” admitted a relieved Hutchinson, who is now based at the famous Breen Gym in Belfast with the likes of Paul McCloskey.
“I’ve a few switches on the side of my head that need to heal but I will be straight back in the gym as soon as possible and working towards my next fight.”
Following the victory Hutchinson confirmed that his next outing will be a little further for home in Dublin at the hallowed National Stadium in October against Belfast buzzsaw Gerard Healy.