14 March 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
WBA Interim World title challenger, Willie Casey brought to an end a gruelling 10 week training camp with a public workout in a buzzing Crumlin gym yesterday, but stressed Gulliermo Rigondeaux will ensure the real hard work will have to be done over 12 rounds in City West this coming Saturday.
The Limerick southpaw has trained like a man possessed as he bids to take the WBA super bantamweight world title from the man Katie Taylor labelled The Ghost’s grasp. In fact Big Bang has been so explosive in sparring and so eager to train that he was in danger of peaking too early, forcing coach Phil Sutcliffe to pull in the reins over the last week. However, despite putting in more hard labour over the last two months than he ever did in years perfecting his previous welding trade, Casey is aware the real graft and toil awaits.
The inspirational Southhill slugger knows he will have to register his best ever shift if he is to beat the two time world and Olympic gold medallist, who is also renowned as the greatest amateur of all time.
I have worked as hard as ever. I have pushed my body to inhuman levels and it is at a standard it was never at before. I am prepared to go 12 rounds. I am ready for whatever pace the fight is at. I am not sure if he will be, Casey said.
I am feeling confident now. My level of fitness is unreal. I have prepared so well that I have to be confident. I have put the effort in and I just want to get in the ring now. I know there is still a lot of work ahead. All the training is good and it prepares you for the fight, but it’s on the night of the fight and when you get into the ring that you have to the business. He is a world class operator I have to admit that. He is a world champion and he is unbeaten in hundreds of amateur fights. I can accept that he is a quality operator and that I have my work cut out for me, but I will be prepared for it.
Casey admits he will have to put in a tough innings if he is to claim the belt that once sat proudly around the waist of Bernard Dunne, but he will do his best to ensure he isnt the only one putting in the toil in the biggest fight to come to Ireland since the Dunnes era.
Everything up until now has worked for Rigondeaux. He is a champion but it has been easy for him especially in the pro game. That will change for him come March 19, that is were I come in. He is very readable and I am always learning and developing and you will see an improved Willie Casey on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Katie Taylor will fight an exhibition bout on the shows under card, giving Irish fight fans the chance to see both the man deemed as the greatest amateur of all time and the female equivalent.