Martin Lindsay: ‘Pressure is on Cummings – Meli would fight anyone’

Ulster middleweights Conrad Cummings [7(3)-0] and Alfredo Meli [11(3)-0] look set for a title clash in Belfast on November 20th. The fight will seemingly be for either the BUI Irish title or the BBBoC Celtic title (a British title eliminator).

If made, the bout will be another step up in class for the pair who both had career-best victories last time out. On July 18th, Cyclone star Cummings scored a phenomenal second round knockout over Oscar Riojas (then 8(3)-1(0)) on the Texas undercard of stablemate Carl Frampton’s IBF super bantamweight title defence.

Meli, on the other hand, won the Celtic Nations title at the Féile an Phobail in Belfast with a points win over Scotland’s Rhys Pagan (then 13(3)-2(1))

With rumours of the domestic dust-up circulating widely, Meli’s Immaculata BC mentor and friend, Martin Lindsay gave his thoughts to the Irish News.

The former British featherweight champion revealed that “Fredo’s willing to accept the fight.”

“He has no problem in fighting him, ‘Fredo would go in and fight anyone.”

“He’ll ask a few questions of Conrad, he definitely will.”

On the match-up, Lindsay feels that Cyclone Promotions must believe that their man is streets ahead of the Belfast southpaw, reasoning that “They rate Conrad very highly and it’s his team in Cyclone Promotions that’s picking Fredo so they must see weaknesses there that they feel they can exploit”

“They’re not picking him to go out and have a tight fight, they’re picking him to win and look good in doing so.”

However, the 33 year old notes that this could work against the big Tyrone man, noting that “I’m sure they’re picking Conrad to go out and win but that also means a lot of pressure.”

“When you’re picking your opponent Conrad will have all the pressure in the world on his shoulders to go out and win and do a job on Fredo.”

As amateurs, the duo met in the Ulster Senior final back in 2011, with Holy Trinity man Cummings prevailing 6-2 under the old scoring system. Lindsay, however, urged fans to not pay too much heed to this result, explaining that “Conrad beat him in the Ulster seniors but Fredo was only back after a couple of years out of the game.”

“When he came back he was carrying weight, so I wouldn’t read too much into that.”

Meli is famous in boxing circles for his fight-anyone mantra and the 25 year old doesn’t even look at footage of upcoming opponents. On his man, Lindsay elaborated that “Fredo is just a throw-back fighter, he likes to put pressure on and he’ll go out and fight his own fight.”

“He won’t be intimidated at all.”

“This type of opportunity can propel him on to the next level and he’s happy enough to go in and test himself.”

If the fight does come off, Mac Man Lindsay predicts a war, feeling that “if it does happen, he’ll [Meli] definitely go out and fight his own fight – he’ll fight fire with fire and he won’t be intimidated at all.”

“If he’s in the gym sparring with five people, or in an arena with 5,000, he’ll fight his own fight – he has a certain style that is easy on the eye and he’ll go and have a war.”

“I hope it does come off because it’s the type of fight that both of them need – Conrad is a big puncher and he’s a huge talent who big things are expected of. Fredo is coming in under the radar, he has built an 11-0 profile up and he’s just going about his business.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]