21 December 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Kiko Martinez believes Willie Casey is running scared of the Spaniard and claims Irelands Cinderella man is not yet entitled to a world title tilt.
Team Martinez has also accused camp Casey of going back on their word by not fighting the two-time EBU champion next.
As EBU mandatory challenger, Martinez was meant to challenge the Limerick native for the continental crown, that he himself vacated to enable the Limerick slugger and Paulie Hyland to contest the first ever all Ireland European title bout.
However, 28-year-old Casey has opted out of a continental fight with Martinez in favour of a bout with WBA interim champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in City West in March.
And the Alicante resident believes Casey, who previously suggested Martinez was worried about fighting Big Bang, has done so in a bid to avoid him.
The powerhouses team, who have plenty of Irish previous and are currently working with Brian Peters promotions, have also suggested that Casey did little to earn his European title shot never mind a world tilt.
I believe that all Casey is doing is running away from a fight with Kiko. Now who is scared? Joe Forbes of team Martinez told Mirror Sport.
I know Kiko thinks Willie is running away from him as we talked about it a few days ago. We gave up the title on condition that the winner of the Hyland and Casey fight would automatically fight Kiko. If we had known this was going to happen we would have given Paul Hyland the fight in a few months time which we were entitled to if we had wanted. So as far as we are concerned Willies camp are going back on their word.”
Casey was very lucky to have been given the opportunity to fight for a European title, as he had nowhere near enough experience nor had he done as much to deserve it as others.
But he took his chance well making Paul Hyland fight his fight and I do believe Paul knows that , he got drawn into Willies fight and that was that. If he thinks that entitles him to go for a world title he is really mistaken, unless its one of the minor ones and even then it would be a mistake.
Willie should get back on track and stay with the reality of the situation. He has been lucky so far and that luck was going to run out when he met Kiko, Forbes added.
Dolphil Promotions decision to pit Casey against the man renowned as one of the greatest amateurs of all time instead of Martinez might now pave the way for another Irish fighter to challenge for the vacated EBU crown.
Paulie Hyland, who lost via a fourth round stoppage against Casey in November, might get a second crack at the strap once owned by Bernard Dunne and Barry McGuigan protg Carl Frampton has previously expressed his openness to a European title shot.
Paul Hyland is always a possibility but we leave those things to our promoter Brian Peters. Brian Peters deserves respect, for what he has done for Kiko and Paul, even though it seems that Willie does not acknowledge that. Kiko would also consider it taking a step back, to fight the winner of Casey and Rigondeaux.