Boxing

James Tennyson versus Anthony Cacace a derby fight fans would love says Pat Magee

James Tennyson celebrates winning the European, Commonwealth & WBA International Super-Featherweight Titles bout at the O2 Arena, London in May

A EUROPEAN super-featherweight title derby rumble between James Tennyson and Anthony Cacace is a fight “the Belfast public would love to see” says Cacace's manager Pat Magee.

Tennyson won the EBU title when he knocked out reigning champion Martin J Ward – who beat Cacace in July last year – and Magee predicts that the former sparring partners could meet for real later this year.

Cacace was nominated to box Italian Devis Boschiero (46-5-1) for the EU title last week and Magee – who plotted Brian Magee's world title course at super-middleweight – says that development could pave the way to a shoot-out with Tennyson.

“Tennyson will defend his title and then the EBU will appoint another mandatory,” predicted Magee.

“I think the mandatory will be the winner of the Boschiero v Cacace match. If Boschiero drops out of it, Cacace becomes the mandatory or, if they fight, Cacace will win and then he'll be the mandatory.

“We're in a very good position with that decision that was made last week.

“Wouldn't it be great if we get in there and we have a local derby (with Tennyson) later in the year?

“We want to go this European route. The EBU title gets you rated everywhere and we'd be rated in the WBC. Tennyson is the EBU champion and he'll be rated by all the sanctioning bodies now.”

Talented Cacace had spells in the USA and with Cyclone Promotions, before hooking up with Magee.

But he has fought just twice in the last 18 months – and not at all this year – and Magee says the 29-year-old now has to take any opportunity that comes his way.

“The two of them have sparred before – they know each other well and, if it comes about, it would be a genuine world title eliminator,” said Magee.

“It's another opportunity for Anthony. He missed his opportunity with Ward and we can all look back on it and ask: ‘Well, why didn't he do it?'

“But he won't make that mistake again, he knows that all his eggs are in the one basket now and he can't afford a defeat at this stage. If he is to realise the potential that everybody knows he has, this is his chance to do it.”

He added: “A while back, would Tennyson's camp have wanted Cacace? I don't think so.

“Tennyson opened everybody's eyes the way he won that European title – he has come on leaps and bounds and that's obvious. His people have to fancy his chances against anybody because he fought above himself against Ward and maybe there's more in him?

“I think it's a fight that the Belfast public would want to see and we'd be looking to have it in Belfast later in the year.”

Tennyson's win over Ward was shown live on Sky Sports, but Magee predicts that ITV could be the broadcaster if the Belfast Kronk fighter defends against Cacace.

“Eddie Hearn is no friend of ours and Tennyson is with Eddie Hearn,” said Magee.

“But later in the year, there's no doubt that ITV will be back in business and I know that Mick Hennessy would like to come to Belfast with Hughie Fury, so we're not reliant on Eddie Hearn and Sky.

“If we're nominated (to fight Tennyson) the way to get round the problem is purse bids. When we went head-to-head with Eddie against Ward we had ITV backing and we won the purse bid and we'll do it again.”

TYRONE McKenna says he'll stop Phil Sutcliffe jnr when Ireland's light-welterweight rivals finally meet on June 30. But Dubliner Sutcliffe countered by warning ‘The Mighty Celt' that he won't be able to live with his power

Sparks are sure to fly when McKenna (16-0-1) and Hyland rumble at Belfast's SSE Arena on the undercard of Michael Conlan's long-awaited homecoming fight.

Talk of this fight has done the rounds for years now and the pair had been due to clash on the Carl Frampton v Nonito Donaire bill in April only for Sutcliffe Jr to suffer injury. This time McKenna is determined to finally confirm his status as the best 140lb fighter in the land.

“I think I'll stop him,” he said.

“I believe in my ability and everything we do training-wise. He'll give a good go the first two rounds but the way he fights suits me down to the ground.

“Phil likes to think he's the best in the country. He's voiced that over and over again. I feel the same about myself and that's what has the people so excited about this fight.

“There's always been a rivalry between Belfast and Dublin and there's always going to be. It went on between us in the amateur days and now it's carried on into the professional ranks.

“Belfast would have been boxing in the finals. This is a great boxing city and I'm going to add another chapter to its story on June 30. Watch me.”

Sutcliffe jnr is heavy handed and experienced. He has fought in Belfast five times, winning all five, and McKenna will have considerable advantages in height and reach, the Dubliner says he won't be able to live with his power.

“Everyone knows how hard I hit,” he said.

“Tyrone knows how hard I hit. We fought as amateurs and have sparred as professionals, so he knows what's coming.

“If he wants to stand and trade, great. If he wants to run, I'll find him. If he wants to come forward… even better.

“It really doesn't matter which Tyrone shows up and what tactics he deploys. He's not in my class and I'm going to expose him on the night.”

A stacked undercard on the night also sees Jono Carroll's long-awaited rematch with Declan Geraghty and Tyrone McCullagh face fellow unbeaten star Joe Ham plus Johnny Coyle v Lewis Benson and Paddy Gallagher v Gary Corcoran.

NATASHA Jonas believes she and Katie Taylor could clash in the first professional 'super-fight' between two women from the British Isles.

Liverpool-based Jonas became the first British woman to box at an Olympic Games when she was the first home female fighter in the ring at London 2012.

She lost to Taylor in the quarter-finals of the lightweight division, and her Irish conqueror went on to land the gold medal.

Jonas retired in 2015 at the age of 30, while still an amateur, but has laced up her gloves again for a career in the paid ranks.

She landed a WBA International super-featherweight title last month, beating Taoussy L'Hadji on the undercard of Amir Khan's fight against Phil Lo Greco at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

That is a low-level belt though, and Jonas says she needs to win a genuine world title before getting in the ring with fully-fledged WBA and IBF lightweight world champion Taylor.

"We're currently at two different weight divisions. She's a double world champion now so I've got to play catch-up and get my own belt," Jonas said.

"I've got to become a world champion in my own right before I can start putting meetings together, to unify anything. I don't want to come to the table with nothing so it's all about me paving my own way and making my own path because my journey isn't about Katie Taylor, it's about me, but if we meet up at the end that's brilliant."

Jonas, nicknamed Miss GB, has won all six of her professional bouts and said: "Every sport needs a domestic rivalry and you had (Chris) Eubank, (Nigel) Benn and (Steve) Collins, and now you've got your James DeGale, Callum Smith and George Groves and Eubank Jr. They're fights that everyone wants to see.

"It's good people are having the same conversation about women's boxing and it's good me and Katie are part of that. It's quite flattering to be honest.

"Potentially there's a super-fight between two women."

She and Taylor are both signed to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing stable, a factor which may help bring about the fight.

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