Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Conrad Cummings' dream move

Carl Frampton was delighted to welcome Conrad Cummings to Cyclone Promotions

Undefeated Carl Frampton is backing the latest recruit to Cyclone Promotions, Conrad Cummings, to reach boxing's summit.

Cummings, whose amateur career has been constantly on the rise, with a World Series of Boxing victory over Cuban Olympic silver medallist Carlos Banteur in the summer one of his major highlights, yesterday confirmed at a press conference in the Europa Hotel he was turning professional with former world champion Barry McGuigan.

Frampton, who is part of the Cyclone Promotions outfit, believes the 22-year-old will be able to quickly move through the British middleweight rankings.

"I think like everyone else that Conrad can go right to the top. He has the style of a pro and a bit like myself he can easily adapt to the pro game," said Frampton.

"I've always admired Conrad, I love his aggressive style. There's guys out there calling themselves the top prospects in Britain but you put this guy in over six rounds with Chris Eubank jnr and I think he beats him up.

"A couple of years down the line we'll see how good he is."

Tyrone man Cummings, who has been a member of the Holy Trinity club since moving to Belfast at 18, said that Cyclone Promotions was the only option for him when he finally made up his mind to turn professional.

Cummings, who recently won middleweight gold at the top multi nations event in Tampere, Finland, said: "Since I was nine years of age it has always been my dream to become a professional boxer and be a world champion.

"I'm humbled and honoured that Barry and Cyclone Promotions have taken me on. I'm looking forward to the journey.

"Of course it would be a dream to be an Olympic medallist but my dream has always been to be a professional world champion

"It wasn't a difficult decision because when Barry contacted me my gut feeling was good but I didn't jump into anything, I trained with Shane, met the whole family and I listened to them and their plans and they put a fantastic deal in front of me and that was it.

"Professional boxing can be a bit corrupt and you can be promised the moon and the stars and end up getting grass. Barry has been there and done it, he's an inspiration. He has told me what he will do and I believe him.

"He's very excited and he gets me excited, he's very positive and he knows the good side and the bad side of boxing. He's going to get me the right fights and get me to the right spot.

"He said that he would make Carl into a world champion and he has made him into a superstar and he will make him into a world champion as well."

Barry's son Jake hosted the press conference after his father's flight was cancelled and he had to jet in later on. Jake explained that after bringing him over to London for three days, everyone in could see his potential.

"Conrad worked with Shane for three days and at the end of it Shane said he was a superb puncher," said Jake. "He's got so much talent, he's a rough diamond and we need to work with him and hopefully turn him into the next Carl Frampton.

"We put a fantastic offer on the table because we wanted him and because we feel that we have the next middleweight sensation – not just in Ireland and Northern Ireland but Britain.

"When I look at the middleweight division and there's John Ryder and Billy Joe Saunders, guys like this and in our opinion Conrad Cummings beats them every day of the week and with the right grooming I know he'll be a world champion.

Dad Barry concurred with Jake's sentiments: "I'm delighted that we have signed Conrad. He's a guy with big potential. He'll be brought along at the right speed and I can see him doing big things. We're planning to run smaller shows as well as the big ones in Belfast and of course he will be part of that."

Meanwhile, Barry, Jake and Carl will be in Spain tonight to watch Kiko Martinez defend his IBF World super-bantamweight title against Jeffrey Mathebula.

Barry added: "We'll be making the champion a very big offer to come to Belfast. We want Carl's next fight to be a World title fight or it could be a WBC final eliminator."

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