Former European super bantamweight Champion Willie Casey has hung up his gloves.
‘Big Bang’ hasn’t fought since September of 2014, when he beat Giorgi Gachechiladze on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s World title win, but only officially confirmed his retirement speaking to Irish-boxing.com on Wednesday.
Although he did suggest, albeit half in jest, a rematch with Paulie Hyland, a clash with the long time retired Bernard Dunne or five fight deal could tempt him to consider a return, the popular Limerick man felt he needed to draw a line in the sand and let the Irish fight fraternity know his career in the ring is done.
Casey, who debuted in 2008 and amassed a 16-3 record, admitted the decision was heart-breaking, but now see’s his role in boxing as a coaching one.
“I think when finished working with the McCullagh’s in Belfast and came back from training up there I knew it was over,” Casey told Irish-boxing.com.
“It is heart-breaking, but I think I need to let people know. People are always asking me when I fight next and I hadn’t really the heart to tell them that I was done, so I think it’s best to do it officially this way.”
“I knew it was coming it was always just hard to physically say ‘I am retiring’ or ‘I am retired.'”
” I am coaching up in Rathkeale BC now and I really get involved in that. I don’t think I would have taken a fight if it clashed with the championships coming up because I want to be there with the kids helping and supporting them.”
“My eldest lad Myles came close to winning the Irish title over the last two years and hopefully this will be his year.”
Casey also did an in-depth and extremely interesting podcast interview with Irish-boxing.com which will be on the site over the coming days and allows us to pay homage to a unique career.
Victory over Paulie Hyland in the first ever all-Irish European title fight followed his sensational Prizefighter win, before a World title defeat to none other than Guillermo Rigondeaux started a frustrating run of inactivity.
The Limerick southpaw may have slipped from the limelight over recent years, but there is an element of ‘the brightest lights burn fastest’ about his career which is fitting considering his ‘Big Bang’ ring moniker.
Casey did capture the imagination of the Irish public at the turn of the decade and, but for some career decisions, could have become a Bernard Dunne style figure. The likeable family man claims his sole goal when turning pro was to be an example to the traveling community, but he proved an inspiration to all communities at times over his career.