14 September 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Willie Casey has secured a shot at European super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez and is predicting fireworks when the two bangers meet in Limerick on November 6.
The 28-year-old gets the prestigious title tilt at the expense of Irish and EU Champion Paulie Hyland, but did promise that, if he emerges victorious over the Spaniard, he would put the strap once owned by Bernard Dunne on the line against the Dubliner in an all-Ireland continental clash.
The all action puncher has literally exploded from nowhere onto the professional scene over the last six months and his meteoric rise continues with a shot at the champion who needed just 86 seconds to get defeat Dunne three years ago.
And the only person more excited than boxing fans about the mouth-watering clash is Casey himself.
Indeed the Limerick native believes the six week wait until the University Sports Arena hosted show will be more torturous than any punch Martinez can land in their 12 round contest.
I have never been more excited about anything in boxing. It is an amazing achievement and a great chance for me and my team, Prizefighter winner Casey told the Mirror.
I only got the official word on Saturday. I am so excited about it I wish the fight was tomorrow. I dont know what I am going to be like over the next six weeks the wait will kill me. The fans should be excited too this will be a great fight. You have two bangers in there so it could end at anytime. We are both big hearted fighters, granted we are not the most skilful, but we give it our all and we will go at each other. I want that belt and I definitely wont be backing down. I am confident if I perform I can win. Bernard Dunne told me on Saturday Kiko is good but not special so I can beat him.
With just 10 professional fights to his name and just two years pro ring experience under his belt there are suggestions Casey isnt ready to fight at European level just yet. One of the most likeable men in Irish sports, however, claims its quality not quantity that counts when it come to record scrutinising.
My record is full of good names and I am ready for fighting at this level. I am ranked with the EBU. I won Prizefigther against the best in Britain. I beat Canadian Champion Tyson Cave in Canada too. I never backed down from a challenge and thats why I got this shot. I could have said lets take seven more fights and fought duds but what use would that be. I am ready for Kiko now and I will prove it come November 6, Casey added before extending a challenge to Hyland and stressing he is delighted to be fighting in his home county.
Fighting Paulie Hyland if I win would be ideal. I think he deserves a shot and that would be an amazing fight for Irish fans. I am also delighted to be fighting in Limerick. A lot of my fans can not afford to be travelling around Ireland to support me and always ask when will I be fighting at home. Well I am coming to fight at home now with a big title on the line. It doesnt get better than that.