The Ballyfermot fighter dominated a clash of the high-profile Irish middleweights live on BT Sport in April of last year and has grown tired of the Tyrone man’s “excuse”‘ since the reverse.
The pair meet again at Ulster Hall on Friday March 29th in a fight that will be streamed via YouTube and the last Irish champion is adamant he will prove that the first result was down to what he did in the ring rather than what Cummings didn’t.
‘Cool Hand’ also claimed he is keen to take back a belt he believes is his when the pair trade leather in a venue that should create a brilliant atmosphere.
Keeler won the vacant WBO European rankings title, previously held by Cummings, when he defeated the Coalisland brawler but the Pete Taylor-trained fighter gave up the belt when he had to pull out of a proposed fight with Brian Rose due to a herniated disc.
Cummings was then supposed to take on Rose for the strap with the winner facing Keeler but the English former world title challenger also pulled out through injury and the Jamie Moore-trained fighter won the title against a substantially softer challege in Hungarian light middleweight Ferenc Berki.
27-year-old Cummings, therefore, goes into the bout as champion and his name is on the left of the poster, but Keeler claims the title is his by rights.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s still my belt and I’ll put to bed these claims that my first win was simply down to Conrad having a bad night,” the Dubliner explained before admitting he has been annoyed by what he perceives as a lack of credit he got for the win.
“To be honest, it’s been a bit annoying listening to Conrad dismiss my victory. This time, I hope he has a good night so there are no excuses afterwards because either way, I’m going to be going home with the win and the title.”
The build-up to the first domestic derby on the Frampton-Donaire undercard, which Keeler won 99-91, 97-93, and 98-92 despite suffering dangerous cuts, was full of mutual respect.
However, a little bit of bad blood has crept in ahead of the rematch, but Keeler suggests he doesn’t need that extra motivation to performance come late March.
The 31-year-old feels he will be a much improved fighter after a year of working with Taylor.
“This is an easy fight to get up for as I know Conrad is a top fighter who’ll have made improvements since that fight but it’ll also be the best ever version of me because I’ve had my first full year training as an athlete under the brilliant Peter Taylor,” he added before discussing the possible Ulster Hall atmosphere.
“I brought with me a good crowd last time we fought and I’m hopeful this will be another special atmosphere.”