Cummings set to train at Olympic facility

National tourney next for improving fighter


March 10, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Baltimore light heavyweight Corey Cummings, who trains under well-known manager Mack Lewis, will leave tomorrow to begin training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the U.S. Amateur national championships to be held next weekend at the same site.

Cummings, 21, improved to 21-10 (14 knockouts) with his four-round unanimous decision over Atlantic City Police Athletic League champion Alfred Kinsey on Jan. 20.

That victory, in a regional tournament in Upper Darby, Pa., near Philadelphia, qualified Cummings for a spot at the training center.

"I thought he would go down there and get beat, but he went out there and outpowered the kid," said Jake Smith, coach of Maryland's boxing team, which earned the third-place team trophy in an event that covered eight East Coast states.

"He's a strong kid, threw great combinations," Smith said. "He backed the guy up, showed he was hungry."

A relative unknown before moving from his native New Jersey two years ago, Cummings has gradually improved under the tutelage of Lewis, who had refined his skills and improved his confidence.

Cummings burst onto the local scene last fall with a second-round knockout of Dundalk resident Mike Dietrich, a fan favorite at Baltimore boxing shows.

Dietrich brought a 21-0 record and a penchant for dispatching opponents quickly. He was looking for his 14th knockout when he faced Cummings, who was a surprisingly more aggressive fighter that night at Martin's Northpoint, despite his size disadvantage.

Dietrich, who reported for the fight a trim and ready 198 pounds -- down from the 220 he weighed for his previous fight -- vowed to make Cummings, a 178-pound light heavyweight, "my main course."

But it was Cummings who closed the deal in the second round with a flurry of straight right hands -- "about four in a row," according to Smith.

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