Saturday 21 October 2017

Boxing: Casey eyes Jackal bout

Willie 'Big Bang' Casey will relinquish his recently acquired European super-bantamweight title for a tilt at Guillermo 'The Jackal' Rigondeaux's WBA crown if the money is right, according to his DolPhil stable, WRITES BERNARD O'NEILL.

Casey, 28, from Southill in Limerick, won the European belt with a fourth round stoppage of Dubliner Paul Hyland in Limerick last month. And Cuban-born Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic champ, claimed the interim WBA belt on a split decision over Ricardo Cordoba -- who was beaten for the WBA title by Bernard Dunne last year -- in Texas on October 13 in only his seventh pro fight.

Rigondeaux defected from Cuba in 2009 and is promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank. The 30-year-old, managed by Cork's Gary Hyde, is considered by many to be the greatest amateur boxer of all time.

However, if Casey wants to set up a battle of the southpaws, he will have to abdicate his Euro crown -- which he is slated to defend against Spain's Kiko Martinez next March.

"We can confirm that the WBA have accepted Willie Casey as challenger for the WBA title. We are at an advanced stage with Rigondeaux's team but it's just talks," stated Daniel Halpin of DolPhil promotions.

"Right now we have our eyes on defending against Kiko (Martinez), but if agreements are made and the money is right for Willie, we will vacate the European belt and go for the world title, no doubt about it."

"We are finalising the details at the moment and I believe that it is a fight that is going to happen. Guillermo is all for it and we are looking at Millstreet in Cork as the venue," added Gary Hyde.

If the fight does go ahead in Millstreet on March 19 it will take place 16 years and a day since Steve Collins claimed the WBO super-middleweight title against Chris Eubank at the same venue.

Casey, meanwhile, is due to meet Venezuelan Manuel 'Zorro' Sequera in a non-title fight at the NBA in Tallaght on December 10. Both fighters clash on the Anthony Fitzgerald-Kevin Hammond undercard. Super-middleweight Fitzgerald tops the bill in a bout for the WBF Inter-Continental title.

Irish Independent

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