8 November 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Willie Casey became Irelands fastest ever European champion after a sensational fight in the UL Sports Arena last Saturday, but warned Kiko Martinez there will be nothing quick about his reign as continental ring king.
The inspirational Limerick man benefited from his no hanging around policy and won the belt that once sat proudly around the waist of Bernard Dunne in only his 11th paid outing.
The 28 year old lived up to his Big Bang alias stopping stylist, Paulie Hyland in 2:09 of round four of a brilliant domestic scrap to win the first ever all Ireland European title fight.
The all action fighter, who was full of admiration for his beaten opponent and offered him a rematch, will now be ranked in the World top 10 and takes step one in on a road that could see him follow in Bernard Dunnes world title challenging foot steps.
But before the super bantamweight can think about emulating the Irish legends world title success, Casey must first succeed were Dunne failed and beat the Spaniard know as Mini Tyson.
Martinez, who claimed he wanted to be an adopted son of Ireland, was ringside and is next in line for a belt believes is rightfully his, but Casey is confident the EBU strap wont be leaving Limerick.
I am honoured to be European Champion. I am over the moon right now, the first ever champ of Europe to hail from Munster said after the fight.
I want to thank Kiko for relinquishing the belt and Paulie, who I think will bounce back stronger, for taking the fight and coming to my own back yard to fight. This is a massive for me and my family and I am delighted. Once I set my heart on something I can achieve it and thats what we did, an emotional Casey added before looking forward.
I won this belt after just ten fights and I am confident I can go on achieve more in the game. As I said before we are not in this game to hang around. I want to progress and be challenged. I am confident I can beat any man and that includes Kiko. I have to fight Kiko next. He is claiming to be the real champion, but I am the champ. I am the one with the belt now and I won it the same way he did. Who will win it out between me and him is another chapter in the Willie Casey story, but I wont be letting this belt leave Limerick for a long time.
I told him when the fight was made that I wanted him to be at 110 percent because he said he wasnt fit when he first lost the title to Rendall Munroe. When I defend the belt against him I want no excuses and fair play to Paulie he had no excuses today.
Meanwhile Heavyweights Martin Rogan and Mike Perez made light work of their opponents with first round stoppages of Yavor Marinchev and Pavel Dolgovs respectfully on the under-card.
Luis Garcia also won in double quick-time proving his potential making former two time world champion Byron Mitchell look like a journey man. There was also wins for Alan Donnellan and Brendan Fitzpatrick while Anthony Fitzgeralds Irish title fight with Lee Murtagh was deemed a no contest after a cut from an accidental clash of heads.