To Tony Cruise, headlining at the Barnsley Metrodome once seemed as distant a dream as being mistaken for movie star heartthrob Tom Cruise.

The 34-year-old cruiserweight from Athersley South only took up boxing four years ago then turned professional last year after success in the amateurs and on the unlicensed scene.

After five wins from six, the father-of-two tops the bill at the Metrodome for the first time tonight (Friday) as he faces Martyn Grainger in an eight-rounder for the Challenge Belt Championship title.

Lancashire's Grainger has a record of won eight, lost ten which makes Cruise the favourite. Tony said: "I'm really proud about headlining. I didn't ever think I'd do it but, now that I am, it's a big opportunity for me.

"I went down to the gym as a bit of fun at first but I got the bug and I enjoyed the toughness of it. If you have that, it's a good basis to start with."

At his age, Cruise considers every fight to be make or break. He would have taken a step back had he not won a humdinger of a contest with Carl Dilks on the last Metrodome bill but now knows it would have been for nothing if he doesn't get by Grainger.

Cruise, who works nights as a security guard, said: "It's not about the title for me. "Eight rounds is an opportunity to get them under my belt and move forward from there.

"I'm too old to be stepping back. People ask me how long I'm going to do it for and the answer is as long as I can keep moving forward.

In Text Promo Image

"Martyn's a strong lad and goes the rounds with fighters. I want to show a few things that I've been working on and show that I'm not just a hitter.

"But I know at some point I'll have to dig in too and that's fine by me. "I know if I can get a win I'll be looking at the Central Area title next year."

Robbie Barrett, Ryan Hinchliffe and Jack Churchill make up the Barnsley contingent on the Carl Greaves promoted bill.

Doors open at 6pm tonight and tickets will be available on the door.