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I'll take the best Conrad Cummings has and win: Fredo Meli

By David Kelly

Gutsy Fredo Meli has warned Conrad Cummings to expect a war right up to the final bell at the Waterfront Hall this Friday night.

The two unbeaten middleweights clash for the British Boxing Board of Control's vacant Celtic title with the winner then on course for a shot at the Lonsdale belt.

Cummings, who calls himself 'Dynamite', is regarded as the favourite going into the 10-rounder but Belfast man Meli insists he is ready to pull off a surprise at the Waterfront.

"It's going to be an exciting fight from start to finish and I know that I'm going to be standing there at the end as the winner," said Meli, a full-time mechanic at Charles Hurst.

"I know Conrad calls himself 'Dynamite' but everyone has a few stoppages on their record - I have a few stoppages as well but I've also been hit by some very big guys and taken them.

"He can throw his best shots and I'll still be there.

"A win means that I can go on and fight for the British title and that's what I want."

And he added: "I don't want to be hanging around - I want the British title shot as quickly as possible."

Meli's preparation has gone up a level from his previous 11 victories, chalking up many more rounds in sparring for what is the toughest test for either man so far in their respective careers.

The hard work over the past two months has coincided with his full-time work and he will only clock off tomorrow night ahead of Thursday's weigh-in.

He said: "I've been very pleased with every aspect of my preparation.

"I've continued working and training at night and I feel great. I've done more rounds of sparring for this fight than any other - the work I had with Luke Keeler, another top Irish middleweight was great so I'm ready.

"People say to me it must he hard working during the day as a mechanic and then having to train at night with a big fight coming up but life's hard and you get on with it.

"If I wasn't working then of course I would train twice a day but I'm not sure that I would train as hard as I do in the gym at night and the way I look at it, the work I do at Charles Hurst is like doing my strength and conditioning and then going to the gym for boxing - that's the way I look at it."

Meili has Immaculata head coach Nugget Nugent as well as his dad, Fredo Snr, in his corner while former British featherweight champion has also had a significant input into his preparation.

Meli added: "I feel very privileged to have Nugget, my dad and Martin helping me for this fight because they have so much experience.

"We have our gameplan for Friday night and I'm sure Conrad has his so we'll see what happens but I'm very confident that I'll do it."

Belfast men Paddy Gallagher, Paul Hyland and Matt Wilton are also on the programme.

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