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Belfast Road Warrior Anto Cacace – “I’ll just have to go over to London and smash him up”

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Anthony Cacace [15(7)-0] has no problems fighting on away turf, but he can’t say the same thing about his next opponent.

The Belfast super featherweight challenges British champion Martin J Ward [17(8)-0-2] on the Eubank-Abraham undercard at the Wembley Arena in London on July 15th, with the vacant Commonwealth title also being on the line.

Cacace’s manager Pat Magee had won purse bids for the fight, which will be Ward’s third defence and therefore an opportunity to win the Lonsdale belt outright, and many believed the fight would take place in Belfast, perhaps on the big Matchroom show at the SSE Odyssey Arena on June 10th.

This would not be the case however, and ‘The Apache’ will instead challenge the Matchroom boxer on the Poxon Sport card, live on ITV pay-per-view, in just over two weeks time.

Cacace, obviously, wanted to fight in front of his hometown fans, but claims that Ward was unwilling to travel.

The Andersonstown fighter told Irish-Boxing.com that “I wanted to have it here [Belfast], but what can you do? Martin Ward didn’t want it. He was offered more money and he still didn’t want it. There was nothing I could do but go there.”

“I don’t mind travelling. I travelled most of my amateur career. As a professional I’ve travelled and boxed everywhere. It’s no issue, as long as everything’s kept on a fairly even level. Obviously if it’s a close fight I’m not going to get the nod, but I don’t mind”

“I’ll just have to go over to London and smash him up.”

When asked whether this gives him something of edge going into the fight, Cacace was hesitant to read too much into Ward’s refusal – but he does think that the champion views him as a formidable challenge.

“I don’t really look at it like that,” said Cacace, “but Ward obviously didn’t want to come here because he thinks it could be a good fight, a close fight, and that I could get the decision – that’s definitely part of the reason.”

“He’s a quality fighter, no doubt about it. He’s not where he is for nothing, but I believe I’m just as good. He’s got quick feet and good hands.”

Should Cacace win next month, the southpaw wants to defend the belt in his home city, with an all-Belfast battle with James Tennyson being suggested by some.

The 28 year old has fought at home just four times as a pro , and not since February 2015, something he desperately wants to change.

Cacace stated that “I 100% want to be defending it here in front of my home crowd. No one outside of boxing knows me, which is something I need to work on – and the only way to work on that is winning titles.”

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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