Conrad Cummings in the mix for surprise British title shot


Conrad Cummings [15(7)-2(0)-1] could end the year fighting for a major title.

It was confirmed yesterday that British middleweight champion Jason Welborn had vacated his Lonsdale belt despite having already had a mandatory defence versus Mark Heffron [21(17)-0] announced for December 22nd.

That fight was due to play out at the Manchester Arena on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s IBF featherweight title challenge of Josh Warrington.

With Welborn vacating, Oldham mandatory Heffron will instead fight for the title against a to-be-confirmed foe and one of the front-runners looks to be Tyrone’s Cummings.

The Coalisland puncher is a long-time gym-mate of Frampton and has a high profile. Indeed, even before the withdrawal of Welborn, Cummings looked likely to feature on the bill having appeared on eight of the last 10 Frampton cards.

There is something of a scarcity of options at middleweight which would look to boost Cummings’s chances.

Welborn has vacated while the man he twice defeated for the title, Tommy Langford, would look to be out of the reckoning. Then there is Elliott Matthews who already has a Commonwealth title fight coming up and former rainbow belt holder Liam Cameron who is returning from a ban.

This leaves Cummings along with the likes of current and former English champions Reece Cartwright and Joe Mullender as well as Luke Crowcroft, who saw an eliminator next month fall through, jostling for a shot at Heffron and the vacant belt.

Since it was revealed that Welborn is out, Cummings has indicated on social media that he would be willing to take the fight – as has Cartwrigh – while Heffron has hinted that it will be the Irishman in the opposite corner on December 22nd.

‘Mr. Dynamite’ has bounced back from his loss to Irish champion Luke Keeler back in April with six-round wins over Southern Area champ Nicky Jenman and Hungarian journeyman Jan Balogh. Cummings has stated his desire to fight for the Commonwealth title but, with Matthews and Nigerian Abolaji Rasheed contesting the vacant belt next month, a surprise British title tilt may fit the bill for him.

Heffron, who is of Kildare descent and is managed by Dubliner and former Frampton trainer Kevin Maree, has looked extremely impressive recently. The 26-year-old became the first man to stop Lewis Taylor and also scoring a knockout win over another former English champion in Andrew Robinson.

With the Robinson win being his sole TV appearance, his fight on the big card in nine-and-a-half weeks time is intended to be something of an opportunity for the extremely highly-rated Heffron to announce himself to the wider boxing public

The BT Sport Box Office bill will also feature Nicola Adams and Nathan Gorman as well as a light middleweight clash between Liam Williams and JJ Metcalfe – with many more due to be announced soon.

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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