I caught up with Cyclone Promotions’ Blain McGuigan this week at the Frampton-Quigg Belfast press conference, who talked all things Cyclone fighters from Conrad Cummings to Marco McCullough ahead of tonight’s show ‘All On The Line’ in Belfast. Here’s our chat.
KC: “Eddie Hearn said at the first (Frampton-Quigg) press conference that he would like to match up some of the Cyclone and Matchroom fighters for the Feb 27th card. He mentioned matching Conrad Cummings with Brian Rose or John Ryder. Is that a fight you would take for Conrad now, or do you think Conrad would need a little bit more experience before fighting those type of guys?”
Blain McGuigan: “I don’t think that it’s too soon. Conrad’s got a very tough fight on Friday night against Alfredo Meli. I’m going to be honest with you, I’m going to say the fight on Friday night for the first 5 or 6 rounds is a tougher fight than Brian Rose, because I think Meli is just going to unload on Conrad. Conrad’s got to get through that and he cant look past that, and he cant look beyond that, but I can see a Brian Rose fight or a John Ryder fight on the under card of Frampton and Quigg, that’s how confident I am, but ultimately he’s got to determine who is the best middleweight in Northern Ireland, maybe Eamonn O’Kane aside.”
KC: “Does Jason Quigley not come into that bracket for a possible domestic fight, or is that something you would rather keep for a little further down the line?”
Blain McGuigan: “Yeah there’s a bit of needle there, Jason is a talented lad, I think Conrad feels that he could easily get the better of him in the pros and I’m sure a lot of people agree that he’s really suited to the pro game. Hes a dynamic, formidable middleweight, he hunts people down and I’d love to get that fight on. I think maybe that fight with him being in the States might take a little bit more time to come to fruition, having said that, Conrad’s boxed in the states so I wouldn’t rule that out either. Maybe 5 to 6 fights away at the earliest.”
KC: “So there’s no chance of that one happening for a Irish or Celtic title anytime soon?”
Blain McGuigan: “I think the reality is I don’t think Golden Boy Promotions are going to take the risk with Jason, and it’s no slant on Jason or Golden Boy, I just think they are working on a path for Jason out in the States trying to go down the Irish-American route, so I cant see it happening. That’s not to say that we wont give them a call and try and make something like that, I think that fight alone if Conrad beats the likes of Brian Rose or John Ryder or someone as tough and talented as Alfredo Meli, then that puts him right up there and he could probably box a Jason Quigley in a big arena because that’s a stand-alone fight and could be one for his break-out fight in Belfast, in terms of big arena shows.”
KC: “Marco McCullough has had a change of opponent for Friday night (tonight), what do you make of his new opponent Prado, a lot of people are saying its a harder fight than Slowey.”
Blain McGuigan: “It’s definitely a harder fight, I see Slowey being tricky for a few rounds, then Marco hunting him down, but this guy is one tough tough fella. We had a journalist out in Spain do an interview with him, it should be in one of the papers this week – and he is really confident. He sees it a bit like Marco, it’s make or break for him. If he wins it’s probably going to boost him into the European top 5 and if he loses where does he go?”
KC: “In recent weeks there has been talk of a domestic dust-up between Marco and James Tennyson. Is that a fight you would take for Marco?”
Blain McGuigan: “He’s (Tennyson) doing very well, I’ll be honest with you, that’s a fight we wanted right now and for various reasons it hasn’t come off. I think Marco and Tennyson is a great fight. Mark Dunlop is saying its an Odyssey Arena one, maybe getting a bit ahead of himself – we would need a big title on the line for that one. Maybe a European title or something for that fight, but that is a definitely one we are looking at along with a few other options. The likes of Leigh Wood in England maybe for a Commonwealth title shot also, these are all fights that can happen but first hes got to get past Prado which is the mission that he has to conquer on Friday (tonight) which will be no easy feat.”
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