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Hard hitting Cummings eager for Waterfront win

By David Kelly

Conrad Cummings loves nothing more than an old fashioned tear-up and if it comes his way on Friday night against Hungarian Lajos Munkacsi he'll be more than ready.

But the hard-hitting Coalisland middleweight admits that he is eager to show more than simply the ability to steamroller opponents on his way up the boxing ladder.

Cummings is just six months into his professional career and is on a steep learning curve at Shane McGuigan's gym in Battersea.

The education continues at the Waterfront Hall on Friday night when Cummings has an opportunity to show the crowd-pleasing potential that coach McGuigan believes he has in abundance.

"My debut was at the York Hall, the second fight I was on early at the Odyssey so this is the first chance I have of boxing in front of a good number of people and showing the public what I've got," said Cummings.

"So, it's a big night for me and after a seven-week training camp I can't wait to get in there. It's a six rounder and if I get the six rounds I'll be happy but I know that when I hit people I can hurt them and if the chance is there to finish him I'll take it.

"Every day in the gym I feel that I'm improving. I've had a real variety of sparring, all very good middles, light-middles and light-heavyweights and it has gone very well."

Cummings came out of the amateurs with a reputation for barnstorming performances and now his style is being refined by McGuigan, son of Cyclone Promotions boss Barry.

Cummings, 23, added: "When I was an amateur I only had fifth gear. From start to finish I would be in fifth gear, I had that intensity and that will always be a large part of me but I am changing.

"I'm learning now that I have gears from one through to five, that I have to pace myself and know when to go through gears and when to ease off. I want to be a 12-round championship fighter so I have to be a bit calmer.

"I've also been working on being a better fighter from distance. I've always been very good at working up close but now I'm lookingto be dangerous from distance and using my jab more to open up opportunities and hopefully in this fight I'll show a bit of that.

"What I like about this guy is that he comes for a fight, so there should be some fireworks. I'll be ready for whatever he has because I'm in great shape."

* Tommy McCarthy will bid to make it two wins in the space of four weeks when he faces Imantas Davidaitis in a four rounder.

Cruiserweight McCarthy's manager Pat Magee is eager to keep the Belfast man busy with victory in Manchester on Saturday night, possibly leading to another outing.

Magee said: "This guy is 6ft 8', he's a tough guy so he'll be a decent test for Tommy who we believe is a very exciting prospect."

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