Cronin hits and headlines

Shawn Smith
18/02/2016 12:59am

Three years ago, Ontario’s Tim Cronin wasn’t sure if he would ever fight again.

He had started boxing as a young man of 11 at the Belleville Boxing Club, coming up through the ranks but never accomplishing anything of substance on the Canadian amateur boxing scene.

He grew tired of boxing, felt stalled out as a student of the game and decided to move on from the sport.

“I felt like I kind of capped out,” Cronin told BM. “I was young and dumb and still a teenager really. I was trying to figure things out. I went to school and I worked and did what teenagers do.”

But the itch never went away. He couldn’t quite let the sport go. Now, three years later, he’s glad he didn’t.

Cronin is 7-1, 2 KOs as a professional and will headline his first card at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga on 27 February, taking on lanky Mexican Guillermo Herrera Campos (9-3-3, 3 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

His journey to a headlining gig in Ontario’s most prominent boxing venue came about thanks to promoter Tyler Buxton, who Cronin remained friends with throughout his sabbatical from the sport.

“[Boxing] was always itching at me to get back into it,” said Cronin. “I think it was when Tyler Buxton had the first show in Belleville [that I finally started training again]. We got together and I saw that show and told myself that I could do what they were doing.”

Currently ranked sixth by Canadian Boxiana and fifth by Boxrec amongst Canadian light-heavyweights, Cronin has his sights set on capturing regional titles sooner than later.

Now 31, it might be hard to call Cronin a prospect. He’s aware that a fighter’s prime only lasts so long and that there is some hurry to capture gold.

“A fighter always has a shelf date, an expiry date,” Cronin told BM. “With every fighter, time is against them. When those big fights come, I’m definitely going to take them.”

And, while fighters most certainly have a shelf life, there are also advantages to the late start. By not fighting an extensive amateur career, Cronin is more fresh and healthy than many of his counterparts who went through the rigours of the amateur scene.

“I’m more mature in mind and in body,” said Cronin. “I’ve got mature muscle on me that no 20-year-old has. I’m in my prime. I’ve still got my head about me. I didn’t take a lot of damage; I didn’t have a long amateur career compared to other guys who get worn down. If you’ve got over 100 amateur fights, that wears you down. I still feel fresh, still feel good.”

Cronin is training at the Cabbagetown Boxing Club in Toronto, alongside national champion and soon-to-be Olympian Arthur Biyarslanov, which is certainly helping Cronin adopt a more technical approach, helping to make up for his lack of amateur background.

While Cronin refused to name fighters he’s looking for in his next outing, it’s not hard to see who might be in his future. Cronin fights at light-heavyweight in Ontario because of the rule on same-day weigh-ins, but is a super-middleweight anywhere else in Canada. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him continue to fight top 10 Canadian names over the next year or two before staking a claim at a Canadian championship. 

“I want to get a couple of titles in my career,” Cronin said of his career aspirations. “I see some title fights in the near future. I’m definitely a sportsman with this. I like the competition; I want to fight good fighters. I’m definitely a true sportsman.”

But before he can think about titles or Canadian opponents, Cronin has to make sure to get through Campos, who is sure to bring that familiar Mexican spirit.

“You get sparring partners who are taller, it helps get your body and mind get used to fighting [a taller opponent],” said Cronin. “I’m not going to be worried about a knockout. I’m going to fight at my best ability. There’s a little bit more pressure because I’m the main event, but I’ve always been ready for this.”

The card also features Samuel Vargas (23-2-1, 13 KOs) in the co-main event slot, as well as Tyler Asselstine (15-2, 7 KOs), both of whom are looking to ready themselves for another major fight against world-ranked competition in the near future.

Picture: Mark Ruddick Photography.