Three Title Options in play for “Forgotten Man” Anto Cacace


Anto Cacace [16(7)-1(0)] has not fought in 2018 but the “forgotten man” of Irish boxing could be set for a big end of the year.

The Belfast super featherweight has sat on the sidelines and watched his local sparring partner James Tennyson claim the European and Commonwealth titles and secure an IBF world title shot while Dubliner Jono Carroll has become something of a darling of the Titanic City.

A Commonwealth title final eliminator versus Ghanaian Joseph Laryea in May fell through and things have been quiet on the Cacace front but manager Pat Magee has reassured that there are a number of paths open to the Andersonstown stylist.

Cacace is in the mix for three legitimate titles – the British, the Commonwealth, and the European Union.

  • The EBU-EU belt looks to be the likeliest path for ‘The Apache’ who is the designated mandatory challenger.

Having seen a fight with champion Devis Boschiero delayed, Cacace is now in line for a voluntary title shot as, Magee reveals, the Italian is set for an IBF final eliminator versus French fighter Guillaume Frenois.

Incidentally, this would look to be disappointing news for the highly-ranked Jono Carroll who was keen on becoming mandatory and forcing a fight with champion Tevin Farmer having seen the American opt for a voluntary defence versus Tennyson

With Cacace likely to be one half of a title fight, the EBU will go through their rankings to find the highest-rating willing challenger – perhaps Belgian Farouk Kourbanov or Spanish veteran Ruddy Encarnacion.

  • The 29-year-old remains well-placed in terms of the Commonwealth title – which he unsuccessfully challenged for alongside the British belt versus Martin J Ward last Summer.

How he proceeds here, however, is dependent on what happens in Boston on October 20th when Tennyson challenges Farmer.

Should Tenny defeat the champion, the rainbow belt will fall vacant, paving the way for the Cacace v Laryea final eliminator to become a title fight.

  • This leaves the British title, which Ward vacated after winning it outright against Cacace before winning the European belt that he lost to Tennyson.

The Lonsdale belt was subsequently picked up by Sam Bowen, who defeated Maxi Hughes in a mandated vacant title fight – a move which disappointed Team Cacace who felt they should have been given the opportunity considering the closeness of his loss to Ward.

Belfast-based Scottish fighter Ronnie Clark, a former opponent of Cacace, is the current mandatory challenger for Bowen – who had intended on making a voluntary defence In Leicester on October 6th before taking on the Dundee entertainer.

However, with a fight versus Marco McCullough not coming to fruition – although this may be back on the table following reports yesterday – it looks like Bowen will not be defending his belt in his October 6th fight.

Meanwhile, Cacace has had a final eliminator mandated versus Zelfa Barrett but Magee does not envision this mooted match-up taking place – although not through a lack of willingness on their side.

Indeed, with the winner of Bowen-Clark allowed a voluntary defence before a mandatory, the British route looks to be on the backburner for Cacace.

anto cacace it is now

It’s a brighter looking picture for Cacace who has endured a horrid few years.

Now training with Belfast-based Panamanian Bernardo Checa, Magee intends to push ‘The Apache’ hard.

The veteran manager remarked how “people have been saying for years that Anthony is a special talent.”

“He is going to get the opportunities in big fights now and we are going to see if that is true.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]