Boxing

Cummings to face Hungarian Berki as Dunlop rules out Tennyson versus Cacace Ulster Hall rumble

Conrad Cummings headlines Friday's nights show at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast
Andy Watters

CONRAD Cummings will fight unbeaten Hungarian Ferenc Berki in Friday night's bill-topper at the Titanic Exhibtion Centre.

Cummings, who was originally scheduled to meet England's Brian Rose, bids to regain the World Boxing Organisation European Middleweight title he lost to Luke Keeler last year. Keeler will meet the winner of Friday night's rumble and Cummings would like nothing better than getting another crack at the Dubliner who convincingly out-pointed him at the SSE Arena.

“I'm buzzing,” ‘Dynamite' told The Irish News yesterday.

“Everything is going well. In my career I've had enough bad luck so it's good to get a bit of good luck this time.

“Against Keeler I had a very bad night, a few things went wrong and it was just a bad night for me and a good night for them. If it was any other night I would win but it is what it is, it's history. Onwards and upwards.

“Now Keeler has got injured and I got offered the fight with Rose, I said ‘yes' and now I've got the chance to get my old title back. I've had a couple of setbacks in my career and I haven't always shown my true worth but, mark my words, I'm going to show what I'm all about.

“I've been in the gym sparring the likes of Rocky Fielding and it's given me great confidence. I have to go out and do it now.”

Rose pulled out over the weekend and has been promptly replaced by Hungarian light-middleweight champion Berki.

“These things are unfortunate but it is what it is,” said Cummings.

“I don't know much about Berki except that he is undefeated but I have prepared very well and when I've prepared like that I'm ready for anyone.

“I've done the weight correctly, I have the spring back in my step and you're going to see that on Friday night.”

Vacant World Boxing Organisation European Middleweight Title: Conrad Cummings (15-2-1) v Ferenc Berki (11-0)

Lightweight: Gary Cully (6-0) v Mohammed Kambuluta (18-5)

Light-heavyweight: Steve Collins Jr (12-2-1) v Pawel Strykowski (1-4)

Welterweight: Paddy Gallagher (14-4) v Manuel Largacha (9-8-5)

Welterweight: Philip Sutcliffe Jnr (14-2) v Fernando Valencia (8-7)

Super-middleweight: Padraig McCrory (5-0) v TBA

Super-lightweight: Sean McComb (4-0) v Ivan Godor (20-64-4)

Super-lightweight: Stephen Webb (debut) v Alec Bazza (0-38-3)

AN Ulster Hall Belfast derby duel between James Tennyson and Anthony Cacace isn't realistic for the February 19 show, says Tennyson manager Mark Dunlop.

Cacace has made no secret of his desire to take on ‘Tenny' for the Commonwealth super-featherweight title at the iconic Bedford Street venue early next year but Dunlop has ruled it out. The truth is that, intriguing as the fight may be, it simply does not make business sense for Tennyson.

“It's not going to happen,” said Dunlop.

“Unless Cacace goes out and wins something that would be worthwhile fighting for. He has beaten Ronnie Clark but I know the difference between Tennyson and Ronnie because I've seen them time and time again.”

Cacace had thrown his hat into the ring with a social media post that sparked a lot of interest among fight fans who were keen to see the all-Belfast battle.

“I would love to be there,” he told Belfast Boxers.

“I haven't fought in Belfast for years. Why not? I'm from AndyTown, why am I having to fight in England all the time? Get me on that show against James or Feargal (McCrory) or whoever.”

Sean McCullough-trained Cacace, whose rumoured EU title challenge fell through recently, added: “I know I'm ready. I just need a training camp and that's it.”

Tommy McCarthy, Paul Hyland Jnr, Luke Wilton and McCrory are all confirmed for the February 19 show and MHD Promotions chief Dunlop has announced that Belfast super-featherweight Mathew Fitzsimons has also been added to the card.

“Matthew is a young pro is looking to get back on track following a shock defeat earlier in the year hoping he can get a rematch with Taka Bembere who took his unbeaten record back in July,” Dunlop explained.

Tickets for the show are available at the Ulster Hall Box Office or directly from the boxers starting from £40.

FRANK Warren plans to begin negotiations for a lucrative rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder imminently.

In his role as Fury's promoter, and alongside the British Boxing Board of Control, he has made a complaint to the WBC over the scores that meant their thrilling world heavyweight title fight, at Los Angeles' Staples Centre, concluded as a draw.

His hope is that the sanctioning body order an immediate rematch, but speaking post-fight - having already spoken of his desire for a rematch - Wilder also reiterated his willingness to fight IBF, WBA and WBO champion Anthony Joshua.

A fight between the two champions for all four titles might even prove richer than Wilder-Fury II, but in the present circumstances would represent an injustice and also seems unlikely, with Joshua expected to fight Dillian Whyte at Wembley on April 13.

The likeliest outcome would appear to be Wilder-Fury II in a Las Vegas casino, also in the coming spring.

With his fighter's reputation enhanced, Warren told PA Sport: "You'd think they'd want the rematch. They've said they do.

"I think it's got a good chance of coming to London. You'd have a 90,000 gate at Wembley, so you're talking serious money. But with Tyson, he'll travel - he'll go where the money is, for March, April.

"I find it invigorating. From where he's come from, I just really enjoy it.

"They said he wasn't going to sell any tickets. They said it wouldn't go ahead - well it did go ahead, didn't it?

"They said it was going to be a boring fight. It was one of the most exciting fights - certainly the most exciting I've seen at heavyweight in America since Lennox Lewis-Vitali Klitschko (in 2003).

"I've worked with Mike Tyson, Frank Bruno - all of those. Now, Fury's the people's champion."

That Fury succeeded in performing to such a high level following a period of only 14 unremarkable rounds in three years that featured significant ring-rust, him gaining in weight to 27 stones, taking cocaine and contemplating suicide fully vindicated his trainer Ben Davison.

The previously-unproven Davison, 26, had been considered a potential weakness in Fury's preparations but in only their third bout together he oversaw a performance that suggests the fighter is again the world's finest heavyweight.

The 30-year-old Fury said: "Everybody said Ben couldn't do it and he'd fold under pressure.

"But I didn't see any folding, Ben. Did you, son? He didn't fold. I knew I'd made the right choice in old Davison here. He did a fantastic job. Nobody in the world could have done a better job than Ben.

"He gave me clear, calm instructions, even when I was down. Ever since me and Ben started working together, I've felt I made the right choice. If this man ain't the highest candidate for trainer of the year, then I haven't seen one."

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