The Irish middleweight duo lock horns for a second time on Friday March 29th at the Ulster Hall, topping an MTK bill at the famous Belfast venue.
The Ballyfermot boxer defeated the Coalisland native in April of last year after a career-best performance in which he scored a dominant points win.
Keeler has since been quite unhappy with the manner in which his rival took the comprehensive defeat.
Cummings [16(7)-2(0)-1] has always said that the better man won, but has also claimed things were not right for him leading into the clash and is adamant that ther would be only one winner if the ‘real’ ‘Mr Dynamite’ showed up.
‘Cool Hand’ hasn’t taken too kindly to what he calls excuses and believes Cummings, a favourite beforehand, has tried to belittle his win.
However, he also sees what he labels ‘excuse making’ as a mental defect and points out it’s a build-up error – suggesting it puts all the pressure on the Tyrone pressure fighter.
“He’s been dismissing his defeat to me saying he just had a bad night but that’s wrong. I don’t think he’s the strongest fighter mentally,” noted Keeler.
“In fairness, he could’ve had a bad night because that happens to us all but all the pressure is back on him now – it must be impossible for me to win the lotto twice!” he added, referencing a previous soundbyte from Cummings.
The Ulsterman has since won the WBO European title vacated by Keeler, stepping in for the Dubliner in December to face Brian Rose – but ending up beating Hungarian late replacement Ferenc Berki.
This has ensured that both are ranked with the WBO [Keeler #12, Cummings #15] making the bout an eliminator that will boost the winners’ chances of a shot at the brown belt currently held by Demetrius Andrade.
While Keeler feels he is better that his rival in all areas, he is still expecting a tough fight.
He expects the Jamie Moore-trained middle, a former top amateur, to be determined and well-prepared and knows that is something he will have to match and exceed.
Keeler, who has his eye on a bout between the winner of Gabriel Rosado’s clash with WBO #6 Maciej Sulecki, outlined how “at the same time, I know this is Conrad’s world title fight and he’ll come in prepared right and hungry.”
“I’ll need step up my own performance and I want be taking him lightly at all,” he added before throwing the obligatory niceties to his stablemate and fellow Irishman.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think there’ll be much disrespect between us. Conrad is a nice guy and he’s putting his heart and soul into the boxing the same as I am. It’ll be a great fight for the fans.”