16 February 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Irish Wild Card insider, Jamie Kavanagh is predicting fighting fireworks for Andy Lee, Paul McCloskey and Willie Casey this spring, but warned the Irish trio to handle their respective opponents with care, as there is potential to get severely burnt.
All three fighters are faced with career defining fights against pros with Freddie Roach, Wild Card and subsequently Kavanagh links over the next two months. Derrys McCloskey and Limericks Willie Casey challenge Amir Khan and Guillermo Rigondeaux for world titles respectfully, whilst middleweight Andy Lee faces undefeated Scot, Craig McEwan in a potential eliminator.
Los Angles resident Kavanagh has first glove experience of all three having shared the training ring with them. And the Irish Prospect of the Year has warned of dangers of the Wild Card pack.
They are three cracking fights and our fighters will have to be at their best to win, Kavanagh told Mirror Sport before giving inside insight on Willie Caseys WBA super bantamweight opponent Rigondeaux.
Freddie put me in against Rigo, before I signed to Wild Card. He is extremely hard to hit. I had trouble finding him. He doesnt have a pro style, but I dont think you need one when you’re a master of the sport. Willie Casey will always be in with a chance. He has done so much in a very short time, but I do believe Rigo will be too smart and be too much a boxer for him. Rigo got a bad reception in his last fight in Dallas and I think he is coming to Ireland too demonstrate how good he is. Ireland is in for a treat. His body shots are class and it was a real eye opener for me sparring him.
The fluent Spanish speaking former Crumlin amateur is more confident of Limerick southpaw, Lee success, despite witnessing the Emanuel Steward trained fighter’s March 12 opponent impress against some of the greatest boxers in the world.
I see McEwan spar everyday and he can make the best boxers in the world look average. This is a fight I am really looking forward to, it would be too close to call. Both fighters are at their peak and looking for the next step. Andy is in for a tough fight and so is Craig, but I think they are both aware of that, the Freddie Roach trained Golden Boy prospect added.
The former world junior silver medalist, who fights for the fifth time as a pro on February 24, also gave insight to probably one of the biggest fights in Irish history. Kavanagh stressed his country man, McCloskey faces the best light-welterweight on the planet when he challenges his sparring partner Amir Khan for the WBA World strap on April 16. Kavanagh also dismissed suggestions Khans chin is suspect as a myth.
Paul deserved a shot at the title and its great its so close too home. He has a good chance. He isnt undefeated for nothing. He is awkward and its hard too know if he will prove too awkward for Khan and manage an upset. Paul will be aware he is going in against the best 140 lb in the world so hes going too have a plan. A lot of people bring up Khans chin before a fight but i thinks its a hype. Dudey’s a fantastic boxer and he is in with a chance.