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I'll prove that I'm the real deal, says Conrad Cummings

By David Kelly

Conrad Cummings has been waiting for an opportunity like this, to make the British boxing fraternity fully aware of his potential.

Cummings and Germany's Ronny Mittag will tonight fight for the IBF inter-continental middleweight title at Wembley Arena and the man from Coalisland simply has to be victorious in order to be taken seriously as a challenger for the British and Commonwealth belts.

Unbeaten in 11 fights, Cummings expects Mittag - his toughest test so far - to bring out the best in him on the back of an intense training camp with coach Shane McGuigan in London.

"Shane has been great for me, he's been getting me to use my skills more and not just rushing in. Things have gone very well, Shane knows what I can do and I have to go and show it," said Cummings.

"It's a fight like this that I believe will see me at my best because it's not like a lot of my previous fights when I have gone in pretty much knowing I'm going to win. I was always in great shape, I always trained hard but there's just naturally more of an edge to your game when you have an opponent like this.

"Mittag has a lot of experience, a good record, so there are a few more nerves - it's hard to explain but I'm more fired up and I always believe that the better the opponent the better I fight. If you look back to my amateur days that was the case, I was fighting some of the best in the world at my weight and feeling comfortable.

"I feel that I have learned a lot and this is the time for me to step up and go to the next level. Winning my first title would be great but also getting a top 15 world ranking with the IBF."

The Cyclone Promotions bill is headed by former World title challenger George Groves and also features 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Paddy Gallagher in a British title eliminator with Tamuka Mucha.

Cyclone Promotions boss Barry McGuigan believes the 10 rounder could even steal the show.

"Paddy has become one of the most entertaining fighters around. He's had two great knockout wins but has a hard test in this British title eliminator," said the boxing legend.

"I think it's going to be an exciting fight from the first bell and it's a great opportunity for Paddy to take his career forward. He's a fighter that we are keen to use a lot on our shows."

Gallagher added: "I'm ready for whatever this guy has got. I've worked very hard for this chance and I'll give it everything."

Londoner Groves, meanwhile, is gunning for a World title shot on the back of victory tonight over Eduard Gutknecht, on his terrestrial debut live on Channel 5.

Groves said: "Off the back of a high-profile fight, you can negotiate yourself into a bigger fight.

"If the opportunities were there, I'd love to have a succession of fights on terrestrial TV, because it helps build your brand."

Groves is also now being trained by Cummings' coach McGuigan. "Before I've been labelled vulnerable, because I can lead with my chin or take a shot to land one, but we're eradicating that from my artillery," he added.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph