In 2014 and 2015 Carl Frampton held the IBF super bantamweight title – however his trainer, manager, and even ‘The Jackal’ himself would note that there was an even more talented fighter operating out of the same gym.
That boxer was super featherweight southpaw Anto Cacace [15(7)-0], and the Belfast man finally gets his opportunity on the big stage this Saturday night.
The Andersonstown fighter challenges British champion Martin J Ward, with the vacant Commonwealth belt also on the line, as part of the Eubank-Abraham undercard at the Wembley Arena, live on ITV pay-per-view.
Cacace parted company with Cyclone Promotions and McGuigan’s Gym back in early 2016, but the mercurial talent left a lasting impression with Frampton.
The 28 year old was subsequently signed by Pat Magee, and had training stints with Brian Magee and Sean and Paul McCullough before settling with former Emerald stablemate Ray Ginley.
The current BBBoC Celtic champion, holding the belt since his knockout victory over Ronnie Clark whilst still under the Cyclone banner, Cacace has been forced to wait for his shot at the Lonsdale belt.
Saturday certainly represents the biggest fight of Cacace’s career, and Frampton feels that it is an especially crucial one considering the Ulsterman’s circumstances.
Writing in his weekly column for the Sunday Life, Frampton explained that “Anthony Cacace has the fight he has been waiting far too long for this weekend and I feel that it’s make or break for his career.”
While it’s often the case that fighters can rebuild following losses at domestic level, Frampton feels this may not be the case for the long-avoided Cacace
The Jackal outlined how “normally, you would think that defeat wouldn’t be so bad for a fighter but with the way things have gone for Anto and how he seems to have been avoided by champions, it just cranks up the importance of this fight.”
“If he loses, I think it’s going to be a tough road back.”
Regularly described as the ‘Most Naturally Talented’ in the Low Blows section of Irish-Boxing.com, Cacace finally has the opportunity to claim the straps that most feel his skills warrant.
Indeed Frampton believes that British and Commonwealth belts may only be the start for ‘The Apache,’ with ‘The Jackal’ noting Ward’s juicy #2 ranking with the European Boxing Union.
The two-weight world champion predicts that “this is the fight that can change Anto’s career.”
“A win and he can push on towards a European title shot and if he does it in real style against someone like Ward, who’s a really good fighter, then his career really will have lift off.”
“With the talent he has, he should be further on but now this opportunity has come he has to grab it with both hands.”
“I admire that he has stuck at it, he has clung on to his dream and I believe with the right mindset he will be British and Commonwealth champion.”