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Boxing: Casey 'ready' for big nights in 2013

RTé's Nationwide gave us a unique behind-the-scenes look at Willie Casey on Wednesday.

On the same day that golfer Rory McIlroy was explaining why, having taken a fat fee (reported as $2million) for an exhibition match with Tiger Woods, he opted to miss the HSBC-sponsored World Golf Championship event in China, Limerick's reigning WBA European super bantamweight champion was seen coaching local kids and contributing to the community.

Following his defeat by Guillermo Rigondeaux in March last year, Casey (14-2, 9 KOs) has done well to come back with three wins.

His WBA title has him ranked 15 in the world and under the watchful eye of Belfast coach Paul McCullagh and Emerald Promotions, he's positioned for some big nights in 2013.

"He's ready for anything," says his agent.

Chris Graham of Emerald Promotions is a happy man. "We had a five-year plan in place before we staged our first major bill in February," he says. "Things have gone so well, we've already reached year two in our development."

Among the talent on Emerald's books is Anthony Cacace (23), who extended his unbeaten run to five with a first-round stoppage of Mickey Coveney to secure the Irish super featherweight title in Tallaght on Saturday.

"Anto has all the goods," enthuses Graham. "Hopefully we can sustain the pressure with another one or two run outs to get him into the top eight in the rankings and then look at a British title."

With Matchroom promoting Carl Frampton and Mick Hennessy bringing Tyson Fury to Belfast, boxing is back big-time in the city.

"We've already had over 200,000 hits on on website emeraldboxingpromotions.com and it's just been active for seven months," says Graham.