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Home truths helped get Cummings back on title track: Moore

 

By David Kelly

Jamie Moore says some tough talking has got Conrad Cummings back on the path to success, starting with Friday night at the Titanic Exhibition Centre.

Cummings lost the WBO European middleweight title - not to be confused with the EBU European belt - earlier this year after a poor performance against Dubliner Luke Keeler, who has since been stripped. Consequently, Cummings once again finds himself fighting for the vacant title.

The Coalisland man was to have faced former British champion Brian Rose who pulled out at the weekend, and so he will now meet unbeaten Hungarian Ferenc Berki as he bids to win back the belt he lost in April.

While Moore is expecting victory for Cummings, who has been sparring with world title challenger Rocky Fielding and former world title challenger Martin Murray in their Manchester gym, it is the way he goes about his work that is even more important to the top coach.

"Conrad admitted that he didn't do the weight right against Keeler and it was a very disappointing performance. So, a few months ago we sat down and had a very good talk. I had to make it clear what I wanted from him and that he had to realise that you don't turn into a better fighter overnight - it takes time," said Moore.

"The penny has certainly dropped, I can see it in the way he has been working in the gym. Before, Conrad wasn't just as focused. He would try something for 30 seconds and then slip back to his old ways but in this camp he has stuck with it. He is trusting in my way of teaching and it is paying off.

"He couldn't have had better sparring, working with Rocky and Martin who are two world-class fighters and the spars have been very competitive. So, I have been pleased with the changes and now it's about taking those same things into the fight. If Conrad does that then I will be very happy.

"It has been frustrating at times because I have seen what he has done in the gym and we want to see it in a fight."

While Moore was disappointed that former world title challenger Rose withdrew, he is nevertheless not taking anything for granted in regard to the threat of Magyar Berki.

"Obviously it was annoying that Rose felt he had to pull out but that's boxing and you have to get on with it. The problem with this new opponent is that we are going in blind because there is no footage of him on YouTube," added Moore.

"But we have to deal with it and I am confident that with the way Conrad has been performing in the gym he can handle whatever comes his way.

"There were certain aspects that we had to address such as his footwork and defence and his diet because he did admit to crashing the weight for the Keeler fight. So those issues have been dealt with and it's about Conrad going out and showing people what he's capable of.

"If he does that then he can look ahead to an exciting 2019 with a top 15 ranking with the WBO."

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