31 August 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Paulie Hyland has stolen pole position in the Irish race to fight for the European super bantamweight title, as the EBU revealed Willie Casey is ineligible to challenge for the continental strap.
Ever since Brian Peters explained he would offer either Casey or Hyland a shot at the winner of Kiko Martinez and Arsen Martirosyans EBU title fight-which takes place in Dublin on September 11 – speculation as to which Irish man will get to challenge for the belt once owned by Bernard Dunne has been rife.
And news that Prizfighter winner Casey has been pulled off the upcoming Carl Frampton undercard sparked rumours that the all action Limerick pugilist had won the fight to challenge for the prestigious strap.
But the EBU last week stressed that despite beating EBU Number 9, Emiliano Salvini, in City West in August Big Bang Casey is not ranked in their new top 20 and subsequently is not eligible to fight for an European title.
Irish and EU champion Hyland on the other hand is ranked Number 5 and is a suitable candidate and if things remain as they are he will challenge for the prestigious strap at Caseys expense.
The winner of Kiko Martnez vs Arsen Martirosyan will be allowed to make voluntary defence with a boxer selected among those rated. Paul Hyland will be acceptable challanger as he is EU champion and ranked in the top 20. As concerns Willie Casey, unfortunately at present he is not rated in our most recent ratings and subsequently at present is ineligible to fight for the European title. The ratings were revised on August 12 and Casey hasn’t breached the top 20, an EBU official told the Irish Mirror.