Hugely controversial defeat for Conrad Cummings in London

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Conrad Cummings was controversially denied a career-best win career tonight in London.

Fighting on the undercard of stablemate George Groves at the Wembley Arena, the Tyrone middleweight was adjudged to have lost his IBF Inter-Continental title fight with German Ronny Mittag via ten-round split decision.

It was possibly the most mature performance of the Ulsterman’s career, and Cummings seemed to take the majority of the ten competitive rounds, but his experienced opponent was given the nod to much dismay at ringside.

The Coalisland man made a slow start, with Mittag dominating the opening round off the jab – although Cummings managed to bloody the German’s nose toward the of the round.

Cummings came into the fight in the second stanza, more effectively timing Mittag as he came in, and rocked his opponent back with a long right late on.

In an otherwise closer third, Cummings landed a peach of an uppercut to edge it, before a big left hook in the fourth momentarily stumbled Mittag.

By the fifth, Mittag’s right eye had begun to swell quite badly, and Cummings’s physical strength was beginning to tell. The Tyrone tank continued to pour forward as the German, who was still throwing the odd dangerous shot back, seemingly began to slow

To his credit, Mittag fought back well in the six, landing some big shots to punctuate to constant stream of Cummings pressure, before a frantic last thirty seconds saw bout go toe-to-toe, with a few friendly shots thrown after the bell.

Mittag continued to have good success in a competitive seventh stanza, and started the eight well, but the Irishman would grasp some semblance of control as the round progressed.

Cummings would be more dominant in the penultimate round, as the German’s face became more and more disfigured.

An exciting fight throughout, the pair brawled for the final three minutes, with Mittag perhaps edging the early exchanges before Cummings finished much the stronger.

To the scorecards the bout went, and shockingly the German was given the nod on two cards (both 96:94), while one judge scored the fight to Cummings (96:94)

The massively surprising defeat, the first ever suffered by trainer Shane McGuigan, sees Cummings fall to 10(4)-1(0)-1, while Mittag improves to 29(14)-2(0)-1.

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