Anthony Cacace has registered the most come out of nowhere, eyebrow-raising call out in recent Irish boxing history.
The usually quiet and keep to himself Belfast fighter wants to fight Michael Conlan on August 3rd on the Féile show.
The call out comes after both fighters saw scheduled bouts for the massive show fall through.
In Conlan’s case his revenge Rio revenge clash with Vladimir Nikitin is off – the Russian pulling out with injuries to both biceps – while Sam Bowen developed sciatica means Cacace’s proposed British title challenge is no more.
The difference being, as bill topper and the glue that holds the card together, Top Rank fighter Conlan will still appear and will still headline what promises to be a massive night.
Most likely because he hasn’t links to MTK, Frank Warren or Top Rank ‘The Apache’ won’t be handed another opponent to fight on the bill.
It’s more frustration for a fighter renowned as a big punching natural talent who has opportunities hard to come by. In the early stages of his career it was perceived a lack of commitment held the southpaw back, but in recent years a more dedicated Pat Magee managed fighter has endured his fair share of hard luck.
He did have one breakthrough chance, which came against Martin J Ward, but he lost a close technical British title fight with some arguing he was a gear change or two away from changing his career path.
It may be that frustration that prompted the call out, it’s quite conceivable the 30-year-old is desperate to make a breakthrough and see’s a Conlan fight as a chance to do so.
The fact Cacace operates at super featherweight and Conlan has world level super bantam ambitions would prove the first stumbling block. The Olympic medal winner and former world amateur champion has fought his entire career at featherweight – although like most early day boxers would have come in over the 126lbs limit on occasion.
Then there is the fact manager and older brother Jamie has already been actively seeking replacements and are looking for fighters that would help the Top Rank fighter in terms of increasing his world ranking.
Indeed, they have spoken to French contender Sofiane Takoucht, who is willing – and are believed to even exploring European title options and a fight with Andoni Gago.
Some may argue Cacace may not have a profile high enough to main event on such a high profile card, but with a seed now planted and some clever work done in the build up a Belfast derby could be quite mouthwatering.
Indeed, those in the know and aware of the talent at Cacace’s disposal would get excited about the prospect of the bout. It certainly would be the toughest test of Conlan’s career.
There will also be those who are fans of both and thus wouldn’t want to see them fight noting a defeat either way could prove a big set back.