Anthony Cacace takes on MArtin J Ward in British and Commonwealth title rumble
British and Commonwealth super-featherweight titles: Martin J Ward (17-0-2) v Anthony Cacace (15-0) (tonight, Wembley Arena, live on ITV Sport)
ANTHONY Cacace warned Martin J Ward to watch his chin when the super-featherweight rivals traded verbal insults ahead of tonight's double-title rumble at Wembley Arena.
Their fight should light up the undercard of the Chris Eubank versus Arthur Abraham IBO super-middleweight clash and Belfast's ‘Apache' is determined not to let his long-awaited title shot slip through his hands.
Ward, who has seen off a succession of domestic challengers including Maxi Hughes, Ronnie Clarke and Andy Townend, acknowledged Cacace's pedigree but appeared convinced of victory.
“He's a good fighter,” he said.
“He's coming to win and he's coming with big ambitions, but it's my job to go in there and do a job on this kid. He's after my title and it's going nowhere.
“He's got plenty of strengths but I'll expose his weaknesses on the night. I don't want to give too much away but he's a good strong fighter, he comes and has it.
“But I'm a good, competitive fighter and 12 rounds is a long time and after he has his few swings early on I'm going to be there in the mid and late rounds and I'm going to be digging the head off him.”
In typical style, an unrattled Cacace met fire with fire, claiming that Ward “blows out” after seven rounds.
“Martin is British champion and he has that wee bit more experience than me, but I believe now is my time,” he said.
“We all know Martin blows out after seven rounds so that's when I'll be digging in the hard shots. You've seen it in previous fights.”
Cacace certainly shaded the verbal exchanges and when Ward reminded him that he had only gone 10 rounds once in his career (against Ronnie Clarke), the Belfast man shot off another telling reply.
“Don't you worry about the rounds,” he said, adding, while pointing to his chin: “You worry about that.”
Cacace hasn't fought since November last year and acknowledged that Ward had given him a title shot when others had ducked out of facing him.
“It seemed to be impossible to get the opportunity and fair play to Martin, he took the fight,” he said.
“There was easier ones out there to fight but he's going to pay for it when I take his title. One hundred per cent I know it's a big step up for me, but it's a big step up for Martin as well.
“The best person he's boxed so far has been Maxi Hughes who's a good competitor but I believe I'm a bit better.”
Ward added: “I'm looking at it as my toughest test.
“I've competed at a higher level than Anthony, but it's a good fight. There's two men going to meet in the centre of that ring on Saturday night and I can't wait for it.”
There's no doubt about Cacace's ability and, aged 28, he knows he has to deliver tonight – this opportunity was a long time coming and it may not come around again for him.
Ward is a dangerous, durable fighter who will win the Lonsdale Belt outright if he defends his British title for a third time tonight. In terms of experience he has the edge, but he does tend to be predictable and Cacace is better schooled, more versatile and tactically sharper.
‘The Apache' will have to produce better than we've seen so far to win this but he gets the nod to shade the crucial moments and win this on points.