26 July 2010 – Steve Wellings
Carl Frampton and Willie Casey appear to be on an inevitable collision course with both exciting super-bantamweight prospects appearing on the same Belfast card on September 18.
Former World featherweight champion Barry McGuigan announced a six-fight deal with Setanta on last week and both unbeaten talents shared the top table.
Limerick star Casey claimed Prizefighter glory recently and placed himself right into the title mix. The 28-year-old hopes to step closer to a European title tilt when he meets Italian Emiliano Salvini in Dublins City West on August 7. But while Frampton received the plaudits, as his inaugural headliner was announced, Caseys trainer Phil Sutcliffe warned that the Belfast hot-shot would first have to get past his man before he rises to the very top.
Before Carl moves on he has to get past Willie Casey first, smiled Sutcliffe.
Both guys are chasing the same dream and Carl is an excellent fighter, Ive been watching him since he was a baby. Ive taken Willie for only two years and even though Ive never done the pads with Carl I know that Willie can hit every bit as hard and Ive seen Carl spar my own boy [Phil Jnr] so I know he can bang.
What we have here is two very good bangers. Carls a little bit more technical than Willie but Casey is still learning and developing and didnt have the privilege of the High Performance team but he has the privilege on training in Crumlin gym. So if the two meet each other along the way, I would say keep your hands up to Carl.
McGuigan also sees a clash in the pipeline. I see a fight between Frampton and Casey as a distinct possibility somewhere down the road, said Barry.
Phil and I will be working together to keep these boys busy and active. The time is not right at the moment for a fight, we have to build them up and make then champions.
They fought as amateurs and it would be great to see them box each other as professionals. Any boxing aficionado would pay to see a fight between these two. When both men have won titles the time will be right.
Barry also reiterated his belief that Carl can match, or even supersede, his own professional achievements which included a WBA featherweight crown.
I see so much of myself in him and even more still, he admitted.
Carl appeals to all sides of the community and he is a beacon for hope and represents the shared future of a modern Northern Ireland. He has punching power, cunning, the ability to box or fight, come off the back foot and be aggressive.