British champion Martin J Ward confirms that he wants Anto Cacace clash

British super featherweight champion Martin J Ward has confirmed that he will look to defend his title against Belfast’s Anthony Cacace [15(7)-0] this Summer.

The Leeds boxer of Irish descent defended his title for the second time at the weekend, outpointing Maxi Hughes in a competitive fight, in their third meeting, on the Jorge Linares v Anthony Crolla WBA lightweight title rematch undercard in Manchester.

BBBoC Celtic champion Cacace is the mandatory challenger for the belt and must fight for the title by the end of this June, and Ward confirmed on Saturday night that he is willing to defend the belt against the Andersonstown boxer rather than vacate.

Ward [17(8)-0-2] admits that he wants to progress to European level, however the lure of defending his British belt a third time – and thus claiming the Lord Lonsdale title outright – is too great.

Speaking to IFL TV following his win at the Manchester Arena, Ward explained that “before this fight [Hughes], I was saying ‘we’ll get Maxi out of the way get me a big fight, I want the European title, I want to get on the road to becoming a World champion.'”

“But I’ve a mandatory stuck on me with Anthony Cacace to win the title outright. I can’t see why not, one more fight and I can win this title for life.”

“I’d like to win the title outright and then, with the help of God, move on to bigger fights.”

Ward is familiar with his upcoming opponent, and described how “he’s a good fighter, he’s unbeaten, and he’s a challenge I’m definitely looking forward to taking.”

The Pat Magee-managed Cacace moved into title contention following his knockout victory over Ronnie Clark – who subsequently had a close fight with Ward – for the Celtic belt back in October 2015.

Since then he has been playing a waiting game, splitting with promoter Cyclone, scoring two keep-busy wins, and sparring with Crolla. Also well-placed in the European rankings, manager Magee envisions a title-filled 2017, starting in June against Ward.

Watch Martin J Ward’s interview with IFL TV in full below:

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