Willie Casey offered EBU title fight with Carl Frampton

By Jonny Stapleton

Willie Casey has been offered the chance to fight Carl Frampton for the European super bantamweight title after Kiko Martinez pulled out of his eagerly anticipated clash with the Belfast prospect.

Illness to the three time European champions father prompted him to withdraw and vacate the title over the weekend.

The Spaniard’s decision not to fight in the Odyssey Arena on September 10 has paved the way for Frampton versus Casey, another mouth-watering domestic bout with continental ramifications.

Casey’s manager revealed ’Big Bang’, who at present is scheduled to make his return from his March world title defeat on September 17 in Belfast, was offered a deal to trade leather with ‘The Jackal’ and reclaim a belt ‘he never lost’ last Friday.

The Cork based manager stressed Limerick’s former European Champ is eager to take what would prove only the second ever all Ireland European title fight, but said a final decision won’t be made until Tuesday.

“Following Kiko Martinez’s withdrawal Wille Casey has been offered a European title fight with Carl Frampton. Willie is mad for the fight, but there are a few things to be considered before we make a final decision,” Hyde told Mirror Sport.

“Kiko vacated the belt so Willie could have the chance to win back a belt he himself vacated to fight Guillermo Rigondeauz. He can win back a title he never lost it would be a cracking fight but we won’t make a final decision until Tuesday. The plan was to get Willie three come back fights and then look for the European title, but this could change that.”

Hyde was also keen to stress delaying the decision and the fact he is deliberating over the offer does not mean he thinks Casey could possible loose the fight.

Despite the fact Frampton ensured a visit to the canvas for  Casey in their amateur days Hyde, who also manages Rigondeaux, believes Casey would beat the ’Belfast Boy’.

The Cork man also claimed Casey is in top shape and ready for battle.

“Carl gets good press but he is not Superman. Willie Casey can beat him no problem. Carl Frampton is not Guillermo Rigondeaux. It would be a good fight, but no decision has been made. Again Willie wants it bad. As he had a fight scheduled for September he is in top condition and ready to fight.”

If  Casey does turn down the EBU clash, the fighter he fought in the first ever all Ireland European title fight last November, Paulie Hyland might be the next option.

However, despite having two wins under his belt since loosing to Casey in Limerick last year the youngest of three fighting brothers is unlikely to take a European title fight at 10 days notice a second time round.

This is the second time ‘Mini Tyson’ has pulled out of an Irish based European title fight.

Injury prevented him from fighting ‘Big Bang’ last year, but its illness to his father that enforced his withdrawal of the fight scheduled for the under card of Paul McCloskey’s WBA world title eliminator with Breidis Presscott.

“I have just spoken to Kiko and he has pulled out,” team Martinez member Joe Forbes said.  “Obviously this has to do with his father, who has been very sick and has just had his leg amputated. He is very close with his family and that is the reason after agonising with the problem for a few weeks the decision was made in the last few hours.”


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