20 March 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Irelands Cinderella man, Willie Casey is adamant his failed World title tilt will not be the final chapter in his short but amazing career and has promised a fairy tale ending to his rags to riches story.
The Limerick man was outclassed by a fighter with potential to become pound for pound champion of the world, Guillermo Rigondeaux and was stopped 22 seconds shy of the second bell in City West last Saturday night.
Rigondeaux, who backed up his glam entrance with a stylish performance, prompted a role reversal within 30 seconds of the fight. The renowned counter puncher had the come forward specialist hurt and on the back foot.
Sensing blood El Jackal went in for the kill and had Casey down twice before the referee who presided over Barry McGuigans world title triumph was forced to step in and call a halt to proceedings.
Casey, who despite taking a barrage of punishment for 2:38 only displayed emotional scars after the bout, admitted he was out classed, but claims he has no regrets about deciding to challenge for the WBA interim strap.
The manner and nature of the explosive defeat brought back memories of Kiko Martinezs 86 second demolition of Bernard Dunne, as Big bang was out gunned by the greatest amateur of all time.
Like the Spaniard, the two-time World and Olympic gold medallist turned a rocking Irish stadium into a stunned morgue in a matter of minutes, but Casey wants to ensure he has more in common with Dunne than a quick fire championship fight reverse.
Despite suggestions from WBA officials that he will no longer be in the WBA top 20, the tough southpaw is adamant he will re group and re assert himself as a contender in the super bantamweight division.
Casey, for whom the pain of failing to unbuckle the belt from Rigondeauxs waist seemed to hurt more than the accurate Cuban missiles the champ landed, was keen to point out he is down but not out.
Speaking in his dressing room after the bout Casey said, There is definitely more to come from Willie Casey. This is a bad loss, but I will be back. I never got into this game thinking I was never going to loose. Real champions get back up after a loss and keep going. The real test for me is how I get over this defeat and perform in my next fight. You will see Willie Casey back in the ring. Bernard Dunne came back and won a world title. I plan to pick myself up and be successful like Bernard.
I am not afraid of been beaten. Unfortunately I got knocked out but this happens you have to get on with it. It is not the end of me. We will regroup and see how we go from here, Casey added before giving credit to Rigondeaux.
I didnt realise how strong he was till he caught me. He landed the big bangs and deservedly won the fight. He was world class tonight. He came out and came at me from all angles and he is one of the great fighters in the world. Was the fight too soon for me? I dont think so. I trained hard for it this fight for ten weeks and I was ready for it.
Rigondeaux, whose manager Gary Hyde was the only happy Irish man in a packed City West last weekend, claimed Casey fell victim to a body shot that will cause serious damage in throughout the super bantamweight division.
The body shot is how I stop everyone. It is my favourite punch and it will stop many more as I work my way to the top. I have had better days at the office. I am champion of the world and I can go as far as I want, he said.