Boxing

Belfast venue is favourite for Anthony Cacace British title showdown

Anthony Cacace will take on Martin J Ward for the British super-featherweight title
Andy Watters

BELFAST is the preferred venue with London also in the frame for Anthony Cacace's British super-featherweight showdown with Martin J Ward.

Cacace would love to have home town advantage for his long-awaited title shot and his manager Pat Magee now holds the aces after he outbid Matchroom's Eddie Hearn to stage the bout which has to take place by June 30.

“It'll be a June date and it'll be either Belfast or London,” Magee confirmed yesterday.

“I'll be doing whatever I can to stage it in Belfast.

Magee has until April 26 to advise the British Boxing Board of Control and Ward of the date and the venue for the fight. Unbeaten Ward (17-0-2) won the belt when he stopped Andy Townend in September last year and has defended it twice since, with impressive wins against Belfast-based Ronnie Clark in November and Maxi Hughes on March 25. he'll win the Lonsdale Belt outright with a third defence, but may have to travel to Cacace's backyard to make it.

“It's a good position to be in because, if it is in Belfast, Ward won't be too happy about coming over here as the champion,” said Magee.

“Wherever it is, we're in control of what takes place.

“Having it in Belfast increases our chances of winning, so ideally it will be here.”

Possible venues for the fight include the Ulster Hall and the Waterfront Hall and Magee also hopes to have cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy on the bill.

“The venue will determine what type of show it is,” said Magee.

“I'll hope to have Tommy on board and the other support would have to be suitable for a British title fight. There'll be an opportunity for local boxers – I have no affiliation with anyone, I'm not tied to having to engage boxers from any particular camp, they're all the same to me and if it's in Belfast I'll certainly be looking to put on local boxers.”

That a title fight is now at an advanced stage is good news at last for Cacace (15-0).

‘The Apache' won the Celtic super-featherweight title back in October 2015 but he has had a stop-start career in the pros so far having spent time in the USA and in London with Cyclone Promotions before he returned to his native Belfast and hooked up with Magee. Early on, former super-middleweight world champion Brian Magee was in charge of his training but he is now being looked after by Sean McCullough.

“It's a great opportunity for Anthony,” said Magee.

“Ward also holds the WBC International title and is rated number 14 in the WBC world rankings and I'd like to think Cacace would take all those on if he beats him.

“There can't be a better fight for him on the horizon.”

Cacace was scheduled to fight a final eliminator for the British title in August of last year which fell through.

“It's been a frustrating time,” said Magee.

“We've spent time since trying to get the Board to give him his rightful position, they gave him that position and now we've won the right to stage the fight so it's onwards and upwards for us now.”

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