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Distraught Cummings still confident he can secure Saunders showdown

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Disappointed: Conrad Cummings missed out on his homecoming bout. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Disappointed: Conrad Cummings missed out on his homecoming bout. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Disappointed: Conrad Cummings missed out on his homecoming bout. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Conrad Cummings says he is still hopeful of securing a world title shot with WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders but admits it will take time for him to recover from the disappointment of missing out on his homecoming fight on Saturday night.

While the main focus was on former world champion Carl Frampton returning to Belfast for his first fight in two-and-a-half years, WBO European middleweight champion Cummings was eager to push further up the world rankings with a victory in his first title defence against Poland's Robert Swierzbinski - his first fight at home in two years.

Instead, following the injuries suffered by Mexican Andres Gutierrez after his freak accident on Friday night which led to the cancellation of the SSE Arena show, Cummings, like everyone else on the undercard, was left feeling distraught at having trained for so long and not being able to fight.

"Going into the fight I felt really good and felt like I was going to give an explosive performance and I just feel sick. I actually had family who flew in from America for the fight so it was just awful having to tell them that the show was off," said Cummings.

"At the moment I feel heartbroken, I feel empty but I have to realise that the fight with Billy Joe Saunders is still realistic and there have been positive talks with the team of Saunders so hopefully that will get done.

"Because of the intensity of the training, I need to get away and have a break. I had trained for 14 weeks for this fight, one of my longest training camps and I just feel like it's all a bad dream.

"I've dedicated my life to this sport and when I go into the gym I really give it everything so it just feels like a real kick in the teeth."

Welterweight Paddy Gallagher admitted he has been hit hard in the pocket after not being able to box on Saturday night.

"I had taken time off work which cost me money and then all the money that goes into preparing for a fight as well as the expense of getting new gear. It's a real sickener but this is boxing and it's a tough old business.

"I actually hoped the show could have gone ahead because there was a good undercard and the fans would have enjoyed it but television rules.

"They bring the money and obviously it was about having Carl Frampton on the show against Gutierrez.

"I'll try to enjoy my holiday and then hopefully come back and get a date for my next fight but this was a big missed opportunity for me."

One man who was supposed to be on the SSE Arena undercard and did manage to have a fight was prospect Lewis Crocker.

The Belfast welterweight was on a plane Saturday morning to go and box in Birmingham and Crocker had little trouble chalking up a third consecutive stoppage victory when he uncorked a left hook which sent Poland's Sylwester Walczak to the canvas at the Tudor Grange Leisure Centre in Solihull.

Belfast Telegraph