Conrad Cummings: The story so far
Whatever the future holds for Northern Ireland’s Conrad Cummings it’s fair to say that boxing fans are going to enjoy watching him in the years to come. The livewire middleweight, promoted by Cyclone Promotions, described himself to Boxing Monthly as “quite intense and quite lively” and has made, as expected, an unbeaten start in his half dozen fights to date. The former member of the British Lionhearts WSB team, once nicknamed ‘Mr. Dynamita’ when he was based in Mexico, recently turned 24 and graciously took time out from his training camp to talk to BM about his memories from his six starts and more.
Date: February 22, 2014
Venue: York Hall, London
Opponent: Andrejs Loginovs
Result: W PTS 4
Cummings: “I was due to make my pro debut earlier but this was just a wee fight before my home debut in Belfast. A four-rounder, a last minute thing. I fought a Latvian guy who had 50 or so fights, I beat him pillar to post. After the fight I was a wee bit disappointed I wasn’t the first guy to stop him on their debut. It was some valuable experience though. I learned a few things and took my time and let the big shots go. It was good.”
Second fight (home debut)
Date: April 4, 2014
Venue: Odyssey Arena, Belfast (undercard of Frampton v Cazares)
Opponent: Zahari Mutafchiev
Result: W TKO 3
Cummings: “It was amazing. That was the night I was supposed to make my debut. I’m glad I had the wee fight before, it helped with the wee bit of nerves. It calmed me down. Me as a person I’m quite intense, quite lively so it calmed me down a bit. It was unbelievable coming out at a packed Odyssey. Magic home support and it went very well. Everything went to plan, I took my time. I had a bit more pace and opened up my attacks and stopped the guy in the third round, it was a good night.”
Date: June 20, 2014
Venue: Waterfront Hall, Belfast
Opponent: Lajos Munkacsi
Result: W TKO 2
Cummings: “I fought a guy who’d been fighting for titles and had been going the distance. I knocked him out in the second round, everything was going great. It was another, sort of, 2,000 arena at home and I was the second last fight and I really enjoyed it. It was a great night and it was onwards and upwards from there.”
Date: September 6, 2014
Venue: Titanic Quarter, Belfast (undercard of Frampton v Martinez 2)
Opponent: Robert Talarek
Result: W PTS 6
Cummings: “It was something you dream of to be fighting on a world title undercard. I’ve lived with the guy (Frampton) and trained with him. I know him pretty well, and Barry (McGuigan) and (trainer) Shane (McGuigan) so it was amazing. The whole bill, the hotel, the public workouts absolutely packed in Victoria Square, the weigh-in, the final press conferences… to be a part of it all was an honour. I just soaked up every second of it. Walking out into a 16,000 arena, obviously it wasn’t full when I was on, it was still a decent enough crowd. Just to be there walking out on to the big stage and I brought a good support too. I fought a guy called Robert Talarek. He was a tough guy who was coming off beating a guy who was 11-0 in the fight before. He wasn’t coming to lie down and I learned a lot in that fight. I took a few shots I maybe shouldn’t have taken [laughs]. It was good, the crowd loved it and I soaked up every second.”
Date: November 29, 2014
Venue: Falconer Centeret, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Opponent: Norbert Szekeres
Result: W PTS 6
Cummings: “Denmark’s probably one of the few countries I haven’t boxed in. Travelled all over the world with the Irish team and WSB. It was good. The fight was sort of sprung on me. I was at home, Barry rang me a few weeks before and said he had a fight for me in Denmark if I wanted it. He asked me how I was I told him I was fit and said “Yeah sure”. It worked well, another one of those fights where the guy covered up and took a lot of punishment. I didn’t knock him down, I just beat him up to be honest and he was very hard to put away. More learning and an invaluable experience and a great way to end the year.”
Date: February 28, 2015
Venue: Odyssey Arena, Belfast (undercard of Frampton v Avalos on ITV)
Opponent: Roberto Palenzuela
Result: W PTS 6
Cummings: “I was loving it, another big show but I wouldn’t say I’m used to it. You feel when you’re on the smaller shows you’ve taking a backwards step but I’m very privileged to get these opportunities. You get some guys who fight on small hall shows and maybe get one shot in their whole career to fight on the big shows I’ve been fighting on. And I’ve had a few of them so I’m very, very honoured. I’ve been at home recently and a guy stopped me saying he saw me on ITV4 and it was awesome. The place was buzzing, full house, a few fights on before, I had great support then, too.”
Fights seven and eight, for the Shane McGuigan trained Cummings, will be happening in quick succession, he hopes, with a couple of fights to be “announced very shortly”.
The Northern Irishman isn’t hanging around. He wants a Celtic title or Irish title by the end of the year and to be a fully-fledged championship fighter by this time next year. He knows he’s in a tough division, domestically, with names such as Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr, John Ryder, Nick Blackwell and more all having a head start on him professionally. He doesn’t fear it, however, he embraces it.
“There’s too many prospects and contenders to start naming them," said Cummings. "It excites me to be in such a red-hot division. Other fighters might be a bit nervous about it, looking for an easier route, but it’s red-hot in the UK and Ireland. I’m just buzzing to be honest and I can’t wait to start mixing it with the bigger names.
“People have been saying they’re fast-tracking me, but I believe you’ll see the best of me when I’m in with the best. I’ve been boxing since nine years of age. I’ve got the background and I know I’ve still got a bit to learn. I’m not the finished article, I know that. When I’m with the best, you’ll see the best of me.”
And, as is the norm with modern day boxing, there will likely come a time when Cummings consider moving down or up in weight to pursue other goals or opportunities.
“I won’t be moving up to super-middle," insisted Cummings. "Funnily enough, when I turned pro I was maybe struggling at the time, well not struggling, but having to boil into the weight. I’m making the weight now no problem. Shane was talking to me about light middle and I said, “Shane, behave yourself” [laughs].
“You never know. I’m 24 now. I’m a middleweight now and ready to take on all-comers.”