British title blow for Anthony Cacace

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Belfast super featherweight Anthony Cacace [14(7)-0] has been left frustrated regarding the British title.

The BBBoC Celtic champion had believed that he was the mandatory challenger for Martin Joseph Ward’s 130lbs British crown. The plan for ‘The Apache’ was to step aside t allow Ward [15(8)-0-2] a voluntary defence of the belt against Maxi Hughes before Christmas – with the date tentatively scheduled for November 26th in London – and then have the winner face Cacace by March.

However, in the most recent BBBoC circular, the board’s stewards have labelled Hughes the mandatory challenger and put the fight out to purse bids, with a deadline of December 14th and the fight to take place by the end of March next year. Ward is still scheduled to defend his belt on the 26th of this month, but it will most likely not be against Hughes, if at all.

The delay is frustrating for Cacace who now seems will have to wait until the Summer at the earliest if he is to fight for the Lonsdale belt.

It should be noted that Hughes knows the frustration that can accompany boxing just as well as Cacace, and the Englishman does deserve his shot. Hughes had defeated Belfast’s James Fryers in February in a British title eliminator and looked set to face recent defeated title challenger Andy Townend in a final eliminator, only to see Townend then face Ward for the vacant title. Cacace was then ordered to face George Jupp (which never took place and handed the Irishman the mandatory spot) in a final eliminator, with the board seemingly forgetting about Hughes and leaving the division with a champion and two mandatory challengers.

Hughes [16(2)-2(1)-2] has fought Ward twice before, holding him to a majority draw before retiring in the fifth round of their rematch with a badly damaged nose.

The delay may see the Andersonstown man reconsider his options. The 27 year old is ranked at #9 with the European Boxing Union who last night saw Frenchman Guillaume Frenois [42(10)-1(0)] claim the vacant blue belt with a win over Samir Ziani. A fight that would most likely require a trip to France, Cacace would be confident of pulling off a smash-and-grab to bring the belt home.

Alternatively, with Brexit still to be enforced, Cacace may look to the EU title. The southpaw had previously secured an EU title fight with Italian Benoit Manno, but this was temporarily put on hold due to the British title chase. With a timely shot at the British not forthcoming, Cacace may return to the EU route and aim to face the winner of the January vacant title fight between Spaniard Ruddy Encarnacion [37(18)-25(5)-4] and Finland’s Petteri Frojdholm [11(4)-0].

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