‘Knock out’ effort lifts Ipswich martial artist to new level
IN a highly skilful sport where you never stop learning, Queensland title winner Kieran Cronin benefited from once being knocked out.
Although an accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu exponent, Cronin discovered another competitive discipline to expand his repertoire after a valuable lesson three years ago.
After being crunched in a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bout, he decided to pursue boxing to broaden his already handy fighting attributes.
Fresh from winning his second Queensland title, the Ipswich Infinity Martial Arts franchise owner/instructor is glad he did.
“I got knocked out pretty badly as a professional MMA fighter and that’s when decided I better learn something like boxing to help me in the MMA fights,’’ he said.
“My original background was a black belt in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu so I was always looking to grapple and for submissions in MMA fights.
“I had some idea about striking but not boxing like a professional level.’’
He popped into a gym and bolstered his all-round skills, leading to the chance to accept some fights and achieve his goals.
The southpaw’s latest professional fighting success was winning the Queensland Super Lightweight (63.5kg) title at the Eatons Hill Hotel. He beat fellow Queenslander Jacob Mahony in a seventh round TKO.
After drawing with the same boxer on a Fox Sports boxing undercard 18 months earlier, Cronin was better prepared the second time.
“I was quite patient and I broke him down from the first few rounds,’’ he said.
“I felt like maybe in the fifth round his corner was probably telling him to lift the pace or do something. I could feel the pressure come in and he started running at me a little bit more but it kind of made it easier for me to pick him off.’’
Cronin’s first state title victory was a lightweight title last year, beating Toowoomba opponent Sam Williams.
Aged 39, Cronin is now in line for a shot at the Australian title against Gauge Ireland, possibly in Melbourne when COVID-19 restrictions ease.
“That’s what we’re working towards now,’’ Cronin said, hoping that being a southpaw continues to give him some advantages.
Cronin said a national title bout would most likely be his major event swan song before focusing on teaching jui-jitsu and boxing at his Booval training base.
He has worked at Infinity since 2013.
But whatever comes next competitively, he was pleased to have tested himself in competitive boxing, having previously gained confidence in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu.
“The boxing is a fair bit different from the Brazilian Jui-Jitsu,’’ he said.
“They probably don’t complement each other that much. However, the jui-jitsu and fighting did help overcome some fear of obstacles.
“The conditioning was huge.
“Then having competed in jui-jitsu competitions over the years made you ready to perform in front of a crowd, in front of people to that intensity and with someone trying to stop you.’’