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Carl Frampton feels Conrad Cummings has a big decision to make over boxing future

Carl Frampton was a distraught onlooker on Friday night.

The Belfast featherweight witnessed his stablemate and good friend Conrad Cummings suffer a punishing rematch defeat to Luke Keeler in the headline attraction of an Ulster Hall fight night.

The Tyrone middleweight showed insane courage throughout the ten rounds but was hurt multiple times by the sharp Keeler who landed a huge number of punches.

Another decisive loss, Frampton feels that Cummings [16(7)-3(0)-1] now faces a decision over whether he will continue boxing.

While he is still only 27, has domestic options such as a rematch with Alfredo Meli or a clash with amateur rival Chris Blaney, and has a big profile, Frampton does not want to see his boxing buddy ship damage like he did on Friday night.

Writing in his weekly column for the Sunday Life, Frampton admitted that “I found it very hard to watch Conrad losing to Keeler again in the manner that he did and it was even harder in the dressing room afterwards when he was naturally very down.”

“I could see his hurt and frustration and now he has to go away and have a long, hard think about what he does from here.”

“It’s not for me to make the decision for him in regard to whether he carries on or not – that’s up to him and his family to have a good chat and advise Conrad what is best for the rest of his life.”

“One thing is sure, I don’t want to have to see him take another beating like that.”

Cummings was a very good amateur and there was real excitement when he turned pro in late 2013 due to his fighting style and experience in the World Series of Boxing.

This hasn’t translated fully to the pros, with numerous reasons cited.

Some felt initial coach Shane McGuigan attempted to refine the aggressive pressure fighter too much while others suggest the underperformance in the ring is more a psychological issue.

Cummings is still said to be a gym beast – indeed his sparring sessions with former WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders had him and his team confident of beating the slick Englishman.

This contrast with his in-ring performances confuses Frampton who explained how Friday “was so frustrating because if people could see him in sparring in the gym they would not believe the difference at times.”

“For some reason the move from the amateur scene to the professional game just hasn’t clicked in the way that he and everyone around him had hoped.”

“This is a brutal business and when you love it so much defeats hurt even more and I know just how hard this will be for him to take.


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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