‘It would be great to get revenge and do the job on him’: Cacace out to end Warrington’s record over Irish

Belfast world champion will defend title on blockbuster Wembley bill on September 21

Anthony Cacace and Josh Warrington face off during Wednesday's press conference in London. Picture by PA
Anthony Cacace and Josh Warrington face off during Wednesday's press conference in London. Picture by PA (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

JOSH Warrington has a perfect record against Irish opponents so far – but Anthony Cacace insists he will be gunning for revenge when the pair meet at Wembley Stadium on September 21.

Two-time world champion Warrington has claimed victories over Martin Lindsay, Patrick Hyland and Carl Frampton in a 35-fight career, and will be out to add another Irish scalp when he challenges Cacace for the IBF super-featherweight title on the undercard of a huge heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Daniel Dubois.

However, the west Belfast man has other plans as he bids to build on his stunning eighth round stoppage of Joe Cordina in Riyadh last month.

“I was actually offered three opponents – Leigh Wood, Josh Warrington and Zelfa Barrett. Somehow Zelfa got taken out, so did Leigh Wood, which left Warrington, so it just kinda happened.

“I know he’s fought a couple of Irish fighters before so I was thinking, lots of people in Ireland will know him, and it would be great to get revenge and do the job on him.

“I had a one-track mind of what way I had to beat Cordina, just war, and that’s the way I went out. That’s the type of attitude I’ll adopt from here on in.”

Warrington has lost three times since that career-best performance against Frampton in December 2018, including in his last outing against WBA world featherweight champion Wood eight months ago.

But Cacace doesn’t believe the Leeds man is a faded force as he targets a return to the big time on September 21.

“I don’t even read into that one bit - I can usually tell when a fighter’s shot to pieces and I don’t think Josh is quite there just yet.

“He’s only 32, I’m 35, but I haven’t been in as many wars and as many world title fights as him, so that’s the difference.”

That experience may have become second nature to Warrington during the heady days, but Cacace isn’t there just yet.

People coming up to him in the street, a new mural about to be unveiled in his beloved Andersonstown, being called a world champion – every bit of it still feels “extremely weird.

It is not even six weeks since he returned from Riyadh with the strap over his shoulder; that was the opportunity Cacace had craved during years of disappointments and fights falling out of bed.

Life has changed since, for the better, and he is determined to soak it up for however long it lasts.

“It’s extremely weird; it has taken me a wee while to get used to it, but I’m taking it all in,” he said.

“It has changed my life massively; not even just financially, but in terms of day-to-day life, I get approached all the time. That’s a bit hard to get used to. Financially, yes, I’m going to buy a house and that’s different; I had nothing before and now I have a house, so that’s the main thing.

“It’s not every day you’re a world champion and people want to know you, so I’m just enjoying the moment, because the moment doesn’t last forever. That’s the attitude I’m trying to take.”

During the barren days, boxing on a huge bill at Wembley Stadium was something he could only have dreamed of. But on Wednesday, at the official announcement, Cacace stood among some of the biggest names in the sport.

And while he and Warrington will throw it down on September 21, there was still time for a respectful exchange before hostilities commence.

“Aye I was chatting away to him – he’s actually sitting three tables down from me right now, he can probably hear exactly what I’m saying to you!

“I’ve nothing bad to say about the lad, we’re both here to make a few quid for our families, but at the same time I want to absolutely take his head off his shoulders when the time comes.

“I respect him, and I respect what he’s doing.”