ANTHONY CACACE understands that there is no time to waste if he comes through this weekend’s tough British Super-Featherweight title defence against Lyon Woodstock.
The Belfast man’s ability has never been in doubt and in the past former training partner Carl Frampton has delivered only the highest praise.
Anto (18-1) admits that in the past he has just done enough in fights, but changed his outlook with a British title win against Sam Bowen at the end of 2019.
His first defence against Leicester’s Woodstock (12-2) was due to take place last summer, but Cacace was hospitalised after developing a serious infection after a mouth issue.
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Victory on Saturday (February 27) at the Copper Box Arena, live on BT Sport, will help catapult him higher in the world rankings.
“I have had a stop-start career,” admitted the 32-year-old southpaw who is ranked number nine by the WBA whose champion is American ace, Gervonta Davies.
“In the past I have done the bare minimum in fights, but I have stepped it up and know what I have to do to progress.
“Carl tells me I hit harder than anyone he has shared the ring with. I am confident in my power and no one has seen it properly yet.”
The 130lb division is one of the hottest in boxing. Besides Davies, Oscar Valdez (WBC) and Jamel Herring (WBO) hold world titles and the IBF is currently vacant.
Cacace said: “I don’t think I am that far away from a world title fight. If not a world title, I would like to test myself against one of the division’s best after this fight.
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“It would love to test myself against one of the champions. That would be the opportunity of a lifetime.
“Anyone on their day can produce the goods and I would love to be in that position.”
When Cacace outpointed Bowen 15 months ago, he was a slight underdog but is expected to be the bookies favourite on Saturday even though Woodstock rarely disappoints.
He added: “Maybe I will be the favourite, but I don’t see it that way. I know Lyon is a tough lad and he will be there.
“He has only lost to top domestic boxers and is rightly operating at that level. He just hasn’t quite got there yet.
“He is just there, loves a tear up. His style is to break opponents down. That plays into my hands.
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Even if I did have to go looking for him it wouldn’t matter.
“There are no fans in the arena, but this is a great TV fight. That is why we picked Lyon as a voluntary defence. We knew it would be good for TV and my profile.”
Cacace vs Woodstock is live this Saturday night on BT Sport 1 HD at 7.30pm.
Also on the bill Kaisy Khademi (8-0) bids to double his belt tally by adding the vacant IBF European Super-Flyweight crown to his WBO European title against Birmingham’s Ijaz Ahmed (7-2).
In a special attraction Light-Heavyweight puncher Tommy Fury (4-0) is back in action.
Stoke’s popular Middleweight Nathan Heaney (10-0) takes on Manchester’s Ryan Oliver (7-2), and thrilling Lightweight prospect Sam Noakes (4-0) going in against the unbeaten Delmar Thomas (5-0).
Three professional debuts complete the card, with ABA champion Masood Abdulah in action at Super-Featherweight along with Super-Lightweight Amaar Akbar and Adan Mohamed who will box at Super-Bantamweight.
THE BRITISH SUPER featherweight champion, Anthony Cacace, has signed with Frank Warren and will continue his career fighting on the Queensberry Promotions platform.
The Belfast southpaw, 31, seized his Lonsdale belt with the memorable defeat of former champion and then unbeaten Sam Bowen in Birmingham back in November, a win which took his ring record to 18-1 (7KOs).
The stylish Apache has long been an avoided fighter and the sole reverse on his card, a contentious split decision to defeat to Martin J Ward in his first British title challenge, led to a period of inactivity before he was mandated to fight Bowen.
“I am delighted to be signing with such a big promoter who will give me the chances to be on big shows,” responded Cacace to his new beginning. “At my age and with my experience, it is what I need.
“I am just excited for the future.
“I have actually never worked with a promoter and this is my first time – I just feel that now I’ve got the opportunity to fulfil my potential or at least know where I am going.”
While Cacace obviously falls outside the prospect or young contender category, he insists he has plenty left in front of him and doesn’t have miles on the clock.
“That’s it, I am a fresh 31-year-old and I’ve never been in wars. The Bowen fight was the hardest one I have ever been in and there is a lot more in me, so we have got to see how it works out.
“I like to think of myself as being a smart boxer. If I have to fight, I will fight, but I will do it effectively and won’t just go in with my head and lose brain cells for nothing!
“The Bowen fight, for me, was 50 per cent of what I can actually do and I perform better in the gym. I still got the job done on the night and was good enough to beat him.
“Hopefully over the next year or two you will be able to see what I can do fully.
“A defence of my title is the likely option next and the likes of (Archie) Sharp and (Zelfa) Barrett I would fight them both in the morning. It is just getting them to face me.”
Hall of fame promoter Frank Warren added: “I am delighted to be working with Anthony. He showed us last year that he is a brilliant fighter when he upset Sam Bowen and won the British title on our show. Now he’s got the backing of BT Sport and Queensberry Promotions, I am confident we can take Anthony to the next level and build on his British title success.”