TYRONE boxer Conrad Cummings was shellshocked after being beaten for the first time since he turned professional.
On Friday night he lost on a split decision at the Wembley Arena in London against Ronny Mittag of Germany in their battle for the IBF Intercontinental title.
He seemed to take the majority of the ten competitive rounds but his experienced opponent was given the nod to the dismay of Cummings as well as his management and supporters.
It was a major setback for the Coalisland fighter as victory would have leapfrogged him to number 15 in the world IBF rankings and guaranteed big fights in 2017.
November, it seems, is not a good month for Cummings as this time last year was the only previous blip on his pro-career when he drew with Alfredo Meli for the Celtic title in a fight he was expected to win.
However, on this occasion he can justifiably feel hard done-by as the commentators and experts all had him at least two rounds ahead when the final bell rang.
It was a hard-fought contest with Cummings moving forward for most of the fight as his opponent tried to pick him off with shots with his longer reach. Cummings appeared to land more of the shots.
It seemed telling that Mittag’s right eye was badly swollen and his nose bloodied while Cummings had a slight graze on his cheek as the fighters waited for the verdict from the three judges from England, Belgium and Russia. However, the split decision went in favour of the German.
Disappointed manager, Barry McGuigan felt that the judges got it wrong but also stated that his fighter should have performed better.
“Conrad is mentally strong,” said McGuigan. “He is a very positive kid and always works hard. In the gym he looked fantastic for this fight but it’s no good looking good in the gym, you’ve got to produce it in the ring. He wasn’t pulling the trigger quickly enough. He has got to use his jab and he could have been punching better in combinations.
“I still thought he won the fight. It is very frustrating for him. We’ll take stock and go on from here.”
Hundreds of local fans will be heading to Belfast to cheer on Coalisland fighter Conrad Cummings when he defends...