By Terence Dooley

Although Carl Frampton got all the headlines over the weekend, Northern Ireland’s Conrad Cummings (11-1-1, 5 KOs) was also left kicking his heels after Mexico's Andres Gutierrez was forced to withdraw from his WBC eliminator bout against “The Jackal”, who missed the featherweight limit by a pound, after slipping while getting into the bath and sustaining the facial injuries that prevented him from fighting on Saturday night.

Cummings was due to meet Robert Swierzbinski in the first defence of his WBO European middleweight title, but will now have to wait for his next outing.  However, the 26-year-old believes he is on course for a crack at WBO holder Billy Joe Saunders should the Londoner overcome Willie Monroe Jr. at the Coppex Box Arena on September 16.

“Going into the fight I felt really good and felt like I was going to give an explosive performance and I just feel sick,” he said when speaking to David Kelly of the Belfast Telegraph. 

He added: “At the moment I feel heartbroken, I feel empty but I have to realise that the fight with Billy Joe Saunders is still realistic and there have been positive talks with the team of Saunders so hopefully that will get done.”

The fight would have been Cumming’s second outing of 2017.  He lost to Ronny Mittag by split decision for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental belt in November of 2016, but bounced back with a win over Gogi Knezevic for the vacant WBO European belt in March, a third-round KO.

The victory secured him a spot at number thirteen on the latest WBO ratings, with the spiked fight against Swierzbinski a chance to work his way further up the ladder.  Now, though, he will have to wait for a new fight date and in the meantime will no doubt keep a keen eye on the Saunders-Jacobs fight in the hope that a win for Saunders leads to a title crack of his own down the line.

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