24 October 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Paulie Hyland and Willie Casey are both adamant they will settle, in their favour, the ongoing debate as to who the best super-bantamweight in the country is on November 6 – and become European ring king in the process.
The Irish pair will contest the first ever all Irish European title bout, as EBU mandatory challenger and Irish champion, Hyland was drafted in to replace the injured Kiko Martinez at late notice.
Ironically a war of words had previously erupted between the Irish duo as they battled to win the right to challenge Bernard Dunne defeater Martinez for the prestigious continental strap. Casey initially won that fight, but now as a result of the Spaniards injury the undefeated puncher will trade real rather than verbal blows with Hyland in a mouth watering Civil War billed fight night.
Despite sharing a mutual respect, sparks still flew as Big Bang Casey went head to head with his new opponent in Dublin yesterday setting the tone for the historic encounter.
The former sparring partners are both confident the civil war will be ended in their favour. With both trainers Phil Sutclife and Paddy Hyland predicting eight round stoppages and guaranteeing post Halloween fireworks.
I am actually glad that Paulie has been drafted in to replace Kiko. Not because I think it is an easier fight but because I know it will be a very exciting fight, Casey (10-0) explained. Everyone is really excited about this fight including me. It will be a very different fight to the Martinez fight but I am still expecting fireworks. I heard Paulie was saying he would win over 12 rounds, but 12 rounds is a very long time to be in the ring with me. The only prediction I will make is that the belt will be staying in Limerick.
Hyland(18-1) on the other hand is confident the EBU belt most recently owned by Bernard Dunne, Rendall Munroe and Kiko Martinez will only enjoy a short stint in Limerick.
I am looking forward to bringing the EBU belt back to Dublin and Tallaght, said Hyland.
I will do my talking in the ring and I urge everyone to come and see this fight on November 6. It will be a cracker. I didnt think twice about taking the fight at short notice. There is no doubt in my mind I will be European Champion. It has been a whirlwind few days and I hardly slept with excitement. It is sinking in now though and I just cant wait.
The Irish duo, who could earn a WBC top ten slot with victory also denied any frustration with the late change in opponent.
Hyland, who had being preparing for Russian champion Andrey Bogdanov, stressed he knows exactly what to expect from his heavy hitting and direct counterpart.
While Casey claimed that despite preparing for a big bang specialist he got enough varied sparing in Crumlin to ready him for stylist switcher, Hylands approach.
Paul’s an excellent boxer and he presents a different challenge to Kiko but I’ll have a game plan for the fight. I’ve worked so hard for this and made the sacrifices you need to make to succeed at European level, Casey explained before Hyland commented.
I have been training hard getting ready for my fight anyway, but I know what to expect from Willie. He will come forward all the time and he is powerful but he has to hit me to make the power count.
Martinez, for his part in vacating the title, has been assured of first crack at the new champion early in the New Year.