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Anthony Cacace takes on Lyon Woodstock on Feb 27 on BT Sport

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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.

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.

“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.

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.

WOODSTOCK PREDICTS ‘HAGLER-HEARNS’ STYLE CLASSIC AGAINST CACACE

LYON WOODSTOCK PREDICTS that a Hagler-Hearns classic could well be on the cards when he steps into the ring to take on Anthony Cacace for the British super featherweight title on Saturday night.

The 1985 three-round war between Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns entered into boxing folklore, with the two greats immediately engaging in a ferocious shootout with three world middleweight titles at stake before Hearns was halted just under two minutes into the third.

It was an incredible passage of pulsating action that Woodstock believes could be repeated when he attempts to part the Belfast man from his Lonsdale belt, live on BT Sport from 7.30pm on Saturday.

“We are both fighting men and what you will see on the night could go one of two ways depending on him,” explained ‘The Lion’ from Leicester. “I think it could be a Hagler and Hearns type fight where we both come out all guns blazing or it could be a long night that goes to points.

“I don’t really look too much into advantages or disadvantages to me, I just know what I am going to go in there and do on the night.

“The flaws I see in Cacace again depend on what man gets in there on the night. It makes no difference though because I know what I am going in to do.”

Woodstock, 12-2, hopes that, stylistically, Cacace will be much more up his street than his two major title contests that ended in defeat against Archie Sharp and Zelfa Barrett. Both are elusive movers happy to operate off the back foot, which made for a frustrating night’s work for the naturally front footed puncher.

“You have seen with me that I haven’t really struggled with anyone who will fight me,” he pointed out. “The only times I have come unstuck – and they weren’t landslides – was in the Archie and Zelfa fights. When people tend to be a bit more negative with me and dance around and move a lot more, that is when you have seen me come unstuck.

“And I am not an idiot, so I am not going to be the exact same because I am learning and growing.

“You know what you get with Lyon, he is an animal, he’s got fire and that is what I will be bringing. If he can’t take these temperatures he will soon find out. I like to call myself a deep sea diver because I like to take people to the depths. I was born down there where a lot of people can’t breathe and as soon as they pick their head up to get a breath, I will take it off.

“Cacace choosing me as a voluntary I feel is a good move for his career. He is not fighting no bum and not trying to have an easy route. He chose this and it shows he is a fighting man and I respect him as a fighter and a person.

“For me this is everything and it is my world title in my head. Even if I go on to fight for a world title in the coming years, it is never going to be this, this fight. People have seen me grow and come through my tribulations. Some forget that I have not had many fights, just 24 amateur fights and 14 pro.

“The level I have fought at – whether I have won or lost – is commendable. I am still learning, still growing and every day I am getting better. This is it, this is the journey and everything has led to this for me, which makes it bigger than a world title. The transitional moment of moving from one point to another.

“I am willing to put everything on the line for this. A lot of fighters talk this way, but I mean it, genuinely with all my heart and I don’t think Cacace is a man that is willing to do that.”

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.




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