Inactivity and ring rust no issue for natural talent Anto Cacace ahead of title fight

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A lithe, languid style in which he throws shots with surgical precision – you could be forgiven for thinking that super featherweight southpaw Anto Cacace is the sort of fighter that needs regular activity to stay sharp and ensure that he retains his timing.

However, ask any Irish boxer who has been around ‘The Apache’ and they will tell you that Cacace is a fighting freak, a phenomenal natural talent, and that the Belfast man was born to box.

In the biggest fight of his career thus far, the 28 year old challenges British champion Martin J Ward on Saturday night, with the vacant Commonwealth belt also on the line, as part of the Eubank-Abraham undercard at the Wembley Arena, live on ITV pay-per-view.

Forced to wait a long time for his shot at the Lonsdale belt, Celtic champion Cacace [15(7)-0] will enter the ring this Saturday having not boxed since last November.

That fight saw him go six with Leonel Hernandez. This win came after Cacace became the first and only man to stop ultra-durable journeyman Jamie Quinn, taking the Manchester fighter out in a round. Before these three minutes, you’d have to go back another eleven months to Cacace’s knockout win over Ronnie Clark to claim the BBBoC Celtic belt.

Two fights in over two years would be seen by most as undesirable preparations for a big title bout, a level of activity that would leave most fighters far from their best and at a severe disadvantage.

Anto Cacace isn’t most fighters though.

The Antrim man himself is modest, albeit there is a steely-eyed confidence about him. When the topic of ring rust is brought up, the criminally under-the-radar talent couldn’t help but smirk.

“With me, it’s weird, I always feel comfortable in the ring – no matter how long I’ve been out,” Cacace told

“I haven’t fought, but I’ve been in the gym, I’ve been in the ring sparring – for me, that’s enough.”

Now training under former Emerald stablemate Ray Ginley, Cacace is feeling good ahead of this weekend and tipped the scales at today’s checkweight just 2lbs over the super feather limit (pictured).

“I’m totally confident,” he stated. “I’m totally ready, I’ve been training the whole time, I’ve been sparring away, I was over with [former WBA lightweight champion, Anthony] Crolla doing a bit.”

“Everything’s good, I’m just looking forward to getting to London.”
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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: