Shane McGuigan didn’t hide his disappointment after his middleweight charge Conrad Cummings drew with Belfast’s Alfredo Meili at the Waterfront Hall on Friday night.
However, Carl Frampton and David Haye’s coach will use the semi-setback and try and turn it into a positive as the Coalisland talent moves forward in a career that Cyclone Promotions believe will end with ultimate success.
Post-fight McGuigan stressed that Cummings will use the hurt of not securing the BBBofC Celtic title in his first top of the bill clash as motivation.
“You have to get through these things and come back more determined to make it to the bigger stage,” said the young coach, who thought Cummings had pipped an exciting and all action Irish derby.
“It was not the performance we wanted from him and it was not the performance he wanted from himself.
“I thought he was down one or two rounds going into the last three but I thought he won the fight by one, or possible two rounds.
Eddie Hearn had mooted a possible Cummings versus John Ryder or Brian Rose bout on the massive Frampton v Quigg February 27 card, but an honest and forthright McGuigan suggests his fighter still has to prove he is ready for the step up.
“I always knew Fredo was a hard fight and I knew it was a fight Conrad had to win to go up to that next level.
“There is no point going to the next level if you can’t get past the Meli’s of this world.
Like some ringside pundits and fans in attendance, the former Ulster Champion felt Cummings had done enough to win a tight fight, but he didn’t hide the fact that he felt the Cyclone Promotions middleweight, who by all accounts performed well against the likes of Billy Joe Saunders and even Andy Lee in sparring, didn’t perform to the best of his ability on Friday.
“He got caught with some stupid shots, was square on and loaded up a few times,” he added.
“We have been trying to take those things away from him in training but it is one thing doing it in the gym and another thing doing it in the ring.But Meli is a great wee fighter and he would give anyone trouble.”