NOT quite a galaxy far far away but Barry McGuigan and Cyclone Promotions are hoping to lead the Next Generation of Belfast fighters to the stars.
The Irish boxing legend believes Carl Frampton’s promotional stable mates Marco McCullough and Jamie Conlan are on the cusp of major title success and is predicting Connrad Cummings name will sit proudly alongside nine other middleweights in the British top ten rankings within a year.
Speaking at the launch of a the June 20 Waterfront Brawl show, the former world champion stressed all three will make serious in roads in the sport over the coming months and years.
The Clones Cyclone highlighted bill topper Marco McCullough as a ‘world class talent’ and stressed Lee Selby aside, the John Breen trained featherweight is ready for anyone at domestic level.
Cyclone Promotions also hope to secure ‘The Mexican’ a British super flyweight title fight by the end of the year and are pressuring the BBBofC to clear a path for the number 1 ranked contender.
McGuigan also believes Cummings isn’t too far of the mix and with some experience can go on to become a top middleweight.
“Both Mark and Jamie are on the verge of domestic level titles,” said McGuigan at Tuesdays press conference.
“Jamie is already WBO European champion, No. 11 in the world and No.1 in the UK and Ireland and we feel he is ready for big fights. Marc faces a tough challenge on June 20, but John (Breen) and myself have every confidence in this kid. Other than Lee Selby we feel he is ready for anyone at domestic level.
“We offered Josh Warrington (Commonwealth Champion) a fight with Marc and they said no. There is a potential fight with Martin Lindsay down the line too. He faces a tough fight against a kid coming to win on June 20, but our modus operandi is to get this boys big fights, keep them busy and progressing in regular fights.
“We plan to give these fighters opportunities. We feel if we do things right we can get Jamie a British title fight this year. That of course all depends on the Paul Butler situation and whether he vacates.
“I think McCullough and Conlan go all the way. They are in very lively weight divisions and shows like this will help build toward titles and success. We also have middleweight Connrad Cummings and an achievable goal for us to get him into the top ten in Britian before the end of the year.”
Boxing has a habit of disproving the ‘cream always rises to the top’ adage, and McGuigan is all too aware that talent is only half the fight for supremacy.
Fighters need to be given a platform to show case their skills, gain a fan base and maneuver into title contention. The fighter, turned promoter claims shows like the June 20 Waterfront Brawl will ensure the Cyclone Promotion punchers avoid the pitfalls of inactivity.
He believes with the right backing and regular fights the trio can emulate their stable mate Frampton and reach world level.
“Kids are frustrated and their careers are destroyed by a lack of activity.There is no point in winning a fight and then not being on again for 14 months,” he added.
“I made a commitment to these kids. We are going to have regular shows and we are going to make them champions. The biggest killer for fighters is in activity you have to get regular fights and title opportunities. We already have a WBO belt for Jamie which has put him in the top 15 in the World and we hope to do the same for Marc.
“This is an exciting show and that is what we want to give the fans. There is so much talent in Belfast and Ireland we just have to tap into that and give these guys the chance. Just like these guys have done with Carl a lot of the kids can jump on their shirt tails on these shows. Belfast is a massive fight city full of talent and they don’t enough fights and that is what theses shows are about.”