Cummings and Gallagher are left gutted after points defeats
Northern Ireland boxing suffered a double whammy last night when Conrad Cummings and Paddy Gallagher both lost important fights at the Wembley Arena, London.
Cummings seemed to have won his IBF inter-continental middleweight title fight with Ronny Mittag after 10 entertaining rounds but the judges handed victory to the German on a split decision, 96-94 96-94 94-96.
The Coalisland man turned away in disgust at the announcement of the decision which also handed Shane McGuigan his first loss as a coach.
Manager Barry McGuigan clearly disagreed with the decision in Mittag's favour but also felt that Cummings had to learn lessons from his first defeat as a professional.
McGuigan said: "I felt that Conrad wasn't pulling the trigger quickly enough although I did think that he was throwing enough volume of punches to win the fight.
"But he will have to learn from this... he will have to take stock and move forward."
Cummings made a ponderous start to the fight, losing the opening round to Mittag's relentless jab but the Coalisland man moved up a gear and won the following two rounds before losing the fourth.
From there on Cummings seemed to win four out of the last six close rounds with one even but the judges disagreed as Mittag finished with his face an ugly mess of welts and bruises.
Belfast man Gallagher then came to the ring seeking to take a major step forward in his British welterweight title eliminator with Tamuka Mucha of Reading but despite a fine start he also fell to defeat on points.
One judge had it a 95-95 draw, while the other two scored the 10-rounder for Mucha, 97-94.
Gallagher, 27, made a fast start, immediately finding his range and whipping home right uppercuts and hooks to the body.
Mucha looked to land from distance and had some success in the second but then Gallagher produced his best work of the night in the third round. The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist rained down hooks and right uppercuts on Mucha who at one point stumbled across the ring and just before the bell he was clearly stunned again.
The momentum was with Gallagher as he won the fourth as well but then Mucha began to grab a foothold. Gallagher's work became more ragged and Mucha maintained his intensity, rapping the Belfast man with his snappy straight blows.
An even seventh was followed by two more rounds for Mucha, though Gallagher did edge the final round.