“There’s only one result” promises Conrad Cummings ahead of Luke Keeler clash

Conrad Cummings [12(5)-1(0)-1] believes he now has the opportunity to prove he is a level above.

The Coalisland middleweight was yesterday confirmed in one of three tantalising all-Irish scraps on the Frampton v Donaire undercard in Belfast on Saturday April 21st.

Cummings will take on Dubliner Luke Keeler [13(5)-2(1)] at the SSE Odyssey Arena, defending his WBO European rankings belt for the first time – and ‘Mr. Dynamite’ is looking to explode up through multiple levels in the process.

A domestic dust-up which has been mooted since both were novice pros, the now-MTK stablemates clash in a fight many find too hard to call.

Cummings though believes he has a rather decisive edge and described how “it’s a huge fight on a big bill. Luke’s going to be coming in confident, Luke I’m sure thinks he’s going to win – I know I’m going to win – but I’m fully respecting Luke.”

“He’s a decent fighter but I’m going to show the level that I’m at.”

“These are the guys that bring the best out of me and I feel – unfortunately for Luke – he’s going to bring that out of me. There’s only one result.”

Indeed Cummings does not necessarily believe that Keeler will be his toughest ever foe.

The Tyrone boxer reasoned that “he’s up there, but maybe not.”

“I fought [Alfredo] Meli early in my career – it was a bad performance, I dropped him early and I sort of switched off, at the time I was gutted but it was a good learning curve.”

“He is up there, he’s a decent fighter, but it’s a fight where I’m planning on showing the level that I’m at.”

“We don’t need to trash-talk each other, I’m sure he’ll say the same – but we’ll go at it on the 21st of April.”

“He’s a good fighter, I’m looking forward to it. He’s a nice guy and I’m sure he’s going to train hard, both of us will train hard, and I think the fans are going to be the winners of this.”

While Keeler helped Meli prepare for that 2015 draw with Cummings, the two fighters themselves never met in the amateurs.

Cummings noted how “I’ve got a good memory. In the Irish Intermediates which I won in 2009 – I beat Bernard Roe in the final and Bernard Roe beat him [Keeler] in the semis. That’s as close as we’ve came.”

In what will be his second fight since linking with MTK, Cummings boxes on February 10th at the Devenish in Belfast in a warm-up, welcome activity before the high-profile fight that he has craved – and one which could help him move further towards challenging for the WBO title currently held by Billy Joe Saunders.

Cummings outlined how “it’s amazing, a huge night for Irish boxing.”

“To be defending my belt against a fellow Irishman – I was talking to my team and we could have got somebody from Poland, 15-0, and we’d beat him, but nobody would give a shit. This fight has everyone going ‘wow’. It’s a fight where, if I don’t turn up, I’ll lose, and vice-versa.”

“If I want to be where I believe I will be, these are the fights that have to happen.”

“There’s nothing confirmed, but there’s talk of bringing in another WBO belt, the Inter-Continental or something. This could get me from #13 to #5 [in the World Rankings]. Then my buddy’s even closer – Saunders, the main man.”


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