Retirement U-Turn – Anthony Cacace reveals he was close to hanging them up as recent as eight weeks ago

Anthony Cacace [18(7)-1(0)] admits he was ready to walk away from the game for good just eight weeks ago

The mercurial talent’s career has had as many ups and downs as all of Disney Land’s roller coasters put together – and after another disappointing drop just over two months ago, he claims he wanted off the turbulent ride.

Speaking just hours before he tops a BT Sports bill in Birmingham, the 32-year-old revealed he was ready to walk away despite the fact he was British champion, has a long-term promotional deal, and guaranteed TV.

Another cancelation of his voluntary defence against Lyon Woodstock [12(5)-2(0)], a fight that fell through four times, meant ‘The Apache’ had enough of the turbulence and was ready to hang up his title with his gloves.

“No one understands what goes on in the background of boxing. It’s a mental f@ck, one minute your happy and everything is good, the next the fight has been put back and before you know it it’s a year down the line,” an honest and straight-talking Cacace told Boxing Ticket’s NI after yesterday’s weigh-in.

“It’s tough and it’s amazing the people I have around me, my father, my mother, my girlfriend, my kids, Ian all his family and Evolution Boxing, everyone. Eight weeks ago I was never going to box again. I just kept getting bad news after bad news.”

News of a rescheduled date and the support of those around him made sure he stayed in the game and he is ready to start cashing in starting with a win in Birmingham tonight.

The world-ranked featherweight fighter who is rumoured to have a big fight lined up added: “Then this came and I was like right I’m all in. I have to say a big thank you to everyone who got me to where I am. I could have easily walked away from it but I’m here now.”

The Woodstock fight initially looked like a slight upgrade on a keep busy bout for the natural Belfast talent but the English side of the fight’s social media game has added a bit of spice.

The usually ultra-relaxed Cacace hasn’t taken too kindly to some of the stuff said – and has cut a more aggressive figure during fight week, which in turn has increased fan interest.

“He has been all talk the whole way through this, writing a lot of sh ite on social media, things I don’t even know. The fight is on now.

“He seems to be a bit of a troll, he seems to like to get people’s attention online, but listen that’s allowed, it’s boxing at the end of the day.”

That bit of extra spice doesn’t mean any extra threat according to Cacace. The champion believes he is too advanced for the challenger and believes he will win in whatever way he wants.

“I have no worries about being rusty after a lay-off. I have been boxing for 20 years and this comes second nature. I am used to the big stage and raring to go. I felt like I was never going to defend this title. It’s been bad luck after bad luck, but I have trained hard and I am ready for what Lyon brings. I will do whatever I want with Lyon. I can fight him, box him but I respect what he brings to the table. I will win and it doesn’t matter what way.”

Speaking on the fight a dramatic Woodstock said: “I more than confident I will take the title. I don’t believe in the whole idea of ring rust because we’re both warriors. This is like a tribal thing, mine against his. I respect him as a warrior and gladiator. On Saturday, two tribes are going to come together and go to war. I have experienced highs and lows. That is what builds your character and the loss to Zelfa Barrett was part of the journey. Hand on heart, I haven’t thought past this fight. It is all or nothing and going to be great.”

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: