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Time for Belfast’s Worst Kept Secret to show the World

Anthony Cacace has been playing ‘the just a lad from Andytown’ card throughout fight week.

Although he appears too relaxed to be fazed by the stage or even the magnitude of the fight, there is an element of ‘everyday man who has somehow found himself on the biggest stage of all’ to his build-up approach.

A working-class prospector who landed in Saudi Arabia with a drill in hand hoping to strike oil on Saturday night.

An ordinary man who eventually done good.

However, that’s the thing, ordinary and Anthony Cacace are not words often paired together.

‘The Apache’ is, in Irish boxing parlances, the ultimate mercurial talent. A gifted fighter for whom boxing comes all too easy, yet a boxer that has yet to fulfil his apparent potential.

Indeed, within a city so educated in boxing it has a PhD in the sweet science, the 35-year-old is deemed by many as one of, if not the most, naturally talented fighters Belfast has ever produced.

That’s saying something considering in the hometown of the likes of Frampton, Caldwell, McCullough, Conlan, Gilroy, and Russell.

Cacace’s CV doesn’t compare just yet in terms of accomplishment but the respect his talent gets does – and the fact that so many respected brains have that level of faith in his ability, allows fans to dream of a world title win this weekend.

Considering, Cacace, by his own admission, generally fights to the level of his opponents, that sensational talent has only been on display in flashes throughout his career.

Carl Frampton – “Anto Cacace is the hardest person I have ever been hit by. He has got freakish power. He whips his shots in and it’s frightening.”

However, if he reproduces the kind of form the likes of Frampton, Tommy McCarthy and many more are only too happy to tell you he is capable of, he could make a joke of the 4-1 odds against him this weekend.

Those odds are a bit wide regardless of the somewhat hidden nature to the Holy Trinity amateur’s ability, considering he has lost just once – a close encounter with Martin J Ward – and has some quality names on his record.

However, the evidence rightfully suggests The Welsh Wizard’ should be favourite. Olympian Cordina is the younger champion, is unbeaten and has been involved in many a big night and three world title fights.

If Cacace is to dethrone him he will need a career-best performance on the undercard of Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk – but if you listen to Belfast, ‘The Apache’ has that and more in him.


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years