Casey v Rigo: Time for action

18 March 2011 – Jonny Stapleton

Irelands Cinderella man, Willie Casey will not need any fairy godmother style help to ensure a fairy tale happy ending to his boxing rags to riches story in City West on Saturday.

The novice Limerick pro challenges Cuban boxing legend Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA interim super bantamweight strap, that once resided on Bernard Dunnes mantle piece, in the biggest bout to come to Ireland since the Dunne era. However, despite being a massive underdog and only having two years as a pro, Casey claims he wont need any divine intervention to defeat the man deemed as the greatest amateur of all time.

The former European champion is determined to focus on what he can achieve over 12 rounds tonight rather than what the Cuban sensations has achieved over a medal laden amateur innings. The inspirational Big Bang, who has managed more in two years of boxing than most have over an entire career, stressed Rigondeauxs two amateur world titles and two Olympic gold medals will count for nothing once the first bell rings. The Southill slugger, who tipped the scales at 55kgs yesterday, claims all that matters is the WBA world title prize at stake.

The pint sized banger was also keen to stress that despite all the hype Rigondeaux isnt invincible. All the talking is done now I just want to get in the ring and do what I have to do to keep that belt in Ireland, Casey, who claimed he was willing to go to boxing hell to reach world title heaven,” Casey said after the weigh-in yesterday.

I am getting in the ring to fight another man. This is boxing and it is two men in a ring regardless of what he has achieved. He is just a boxer like myself. I respect what he did in the past, but I am not going in there to take away his Olympic gold medals or world championship medals. I am going in there to take the WBA world title. He can keep his medals and he can keep his skill work and all his hopping and skipping around the ring. I am just focused on winning and I will keep that belt in Ireland.

I am not worried about him. I feel so relaxed and confident I am just waiting to get in the ring now. We have covered more than enough in training and we are ready for anything he brings. I am willing to go to hell and back if I have too.

Like Casey, Rigondeauxs manager, Gary Hyde was keen to look forward instead of back, and the Cork based promoter believes the Cubans future can be even more illustrious and decorated than his past.

Hyde stressed Ireland could get a glimpse and an all time great in City West tomorrow.

Casey is a true warrior and Im sure that he will turn in the fight of his life to try and dethrone Rigo. But he hasnt fought anybody close to having Guillermos brilliance and hell realize that right after the opening bell. Casey will not have the luck of Irish this fight. He will be thoroughly out-classed by this modern-day phenomenon.

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