Big Belfast Headline Fight CONFIRMED


The headline fight for the big card in Belfast next month has been confirmed.

Conrad Cummings [15(7)-2(0)-1] will top a bill at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on Friday December and it was announced last night that he will face former world title challenger Brian Rose.

Rose [30(8)-5(3)-1] was due to challenger for Dubliner Luke Keeler‘s WBO European middleweight title the following week but a herniated disc suffered by the Ballyfermot boxer has forced him out of the fight

Keeler [15(5)-2(1)-1] has vacated the rankings belt to allow his two managerial stablemates to fight for it with the guarantee that he will face the winner in the new year.

‘Cool Hand’ Luke had won the vacant belt back in April with a decisive victory over Coalisland’s Cummings – who is also a previous holder of the belt

Since that loss, Tyrone puncher Cummings has rebuilt with two wins over Southern Area champ Nicky Jenman and journeyman Richard Hegyi and is now ready for a return to big fights.

‘Mr Dynamite’ had spoken of his desire to fight for the Commonwealth title – which Elliot Matthews and Abolaji Rasheed contest later this month. A British title fight with Mark Heffron was also mooted – and refused, according to Frank Warren – while a rematch with Alfredo Meli was also rumoured, but Cummings will instead look to reclaim his old belt against a high-profile name.

In 33-year-old Rose he is faced with an opponent who challenged for world honours back in 2014 when he was stopped by then-WBO light middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade.

A familiar foe for Irish fans, Rose was edged by Matthew Macklin in what ended up being the Tipp-Brummie’s last fight. Previously a British light middleweight champion, ‘The Lion’s’ last big fight came against Jack Arnfield in March 2017 which he lost on the cards.

A rusty Rose had his comeback fight last night, squeaking past journeyman Alistair Wheeler after a tight six-round encounter in Manchester. Following the 58-57 win he would go face-to-face with Cummings in the ring afterwards.

The Belfast card next month also features Lewis Crocker, Gary Cully, Padraig McCrory, Stephen Webb, Stevie Collins, Phil Sutcliffe Jr, Sean McComb, and Steven Donnelly.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie