Conrad Cummings comes up short as Luke Keeler reclaims WBO European title

Luke Keeler (left) and Conrad Cummings did battle for a second time in the Ulster Hall on Friday night
Luke Keeler (left) and Conrad Cummings did battle for a second time in the Ulster Hall on Friday night
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Conrad Cummings will have to go back to the drawing board after losing his WBO European title to Luke Keeler at the Ulster Hall on Friday night.

Keeler was just the better man on the night and won the fight 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92 on points.

Cummings put it all on the line on Saturday but Keeler just had all the answers and there were no doubts as to who had won the fight and Cummings had no complaints after losing for the second time to Keeler.

“Luke boxed really well. I couldn’t get my rhythm. He didn’t let me settle. Congratulations to Luke, he is a deserving champion. If we fought 10 times it would be 10 good fights.

“He has won fair and square. I will take a rest and take things from there,” he added.

And Keeler was pleased to claim back the title after proving his worth once again.

“I knew I had it but you never know. Conrad is a hard man and he will come again. He is younger than me and will rebuild and do well. I hope he is not too disheartened.

“I am older, if I lost who knows what I would do. But I had no pressure on me tonight. I had a couple of dodgy moments in the fight, Conrad hits hard.

And Belfast’s Steven Ward was happy with his night’s work as he saw off Josip Perkovic 79-73 on points

And now Ward wants to move on to bigger fights in 2019.

“I boxed nice and tidy the first few rounds. I have a lot to brush up on, but I feel I am past these guys now.

“We were working on the body shots a lot, trying to place shots more.

“He is tough and durable and gives it a go. I think I am past these guys, and I think I switch off a bit.

“ It is my first time fighting at the Ulster Hall as a professional, which is great.

“I enjoyed it but we will move on and see what fights are out there for me,” added Ward.

Belfast’s Sean McComb also put on a solid performance as he saw off Troy James 60-54 on points.

McComb said: “Troy is a very tough competitor. Always training and in condition. But I train for these opportunities.

“I know there will be dips along the way.

“My original opponent pulled out and Troy stepped in at late notice.

“But this is what I want. Troy was a tricky operator and I had to be patient and use my jab, and when the opportunities presented themselves I took them.

“The atmosphere is electric here and hopefully we can get it on again sometime.

“This is a massive year for me. Straight back to the gym for me and working on new things.”

And Ballymena’s Steven Donnelly was gutted after his fight was called off at short notice but he says he will be back sooner rather than later.

“Absolutely heartbroken is an understatement and sorry to everyone who bought tickets to support me.

“Unfortunately my opponent withdrew and the late replacement wasn’t accepted by the board.

“Was really going to put on show but that’s professional boxing for you, these things happen.

“Stay positive and bring on the next one.

“I’m elite and I’ll prove it as a professional.”

There was also a win on the night for Padraig McCrory against Santos Medrano>

The ref scored it 60-54 in favour of the Ray Ginley trained fighter.

And Tyrone McKenna faced Oscar Amador over six rounds.

McKenna was last seen beating Lewis Benson back in November over in Glasgow.

And he did well to box himself to a 60-54 win.

There were also wins on the night for Alfredo Meli, Gary Cully, Taylor McGoldrick, Steve Collins jnr and Callum Bradley.