Anthony Crolla sparring partner Anto Cacace backs Jorge Linares upset

Manchester lightweight Anthony Crolla takes on Jorge Linares tonight in a rematch for the WBA lightweight title, and does so with the help of one of Ireland’s top talents.

Belfast super featherweight Anthony Cacace [15(7)-0]was drafted in for a week’s sparring last month and, so impressed was Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher, ‘The Apache’ was brought back to Bolton for another week.

The current BBBoC Celtic champion will be ringside at the Manchester Arena tonight to cheer on ‘Million Dollar’ as he seeks to reclaim the belt off the three-weight world champion, and Cacace believes that the Englishman can upset the odds and get the win.

The Andersonstown southpaw told Irish-Boxing.com that “Crolla’s flying at the minute in my opinion.”

“I went over and spent two weeks sparring and he was super fit.”

“I hope Crolla wins it but I think everyone knows it’s gonna be a real tough fight for him. If he can keep the pressure on him for 12 rounds I believe he will win the fight.”

The headline fight, on a card which features Katie Taylor, is not the only bout which is of interest to Cacace. The undercard also features a British super featherweight title fight, with Martin J Ward making the second defence of his title against Maxi Hughes.

Cacace has been ordered by the BBBoC to face the winner, or indeed fight for the vacated belt, by the end of June.

The 28 year old is backing the champion to retain his belt, but he anticipates a close contest.

“I think it’s going to be a good fight,” said Cacace.”

“I see Ward dominating the opening couple of rounds with his boxing ability, then I think Hughes will come on strong the second half of the fight and make it very interesting.”

“If I’m honest I think Ward will win a close points decision.”

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: joneill6@tcd.ie