23 October 2010
Just 24 hours after finishing his final sparring session Willie Casey was informed of the injury sustained by Kiko Martinez during a training session in Spain. Instead of putting off the title fight however, Kiko has relinquished his status as title holder to allow Willie Casey fight Paulie Hyland for the EBU super-bantamweight belt just two weeks before the scheduled fight.
For me nothing changes explained Casey, The fight goes ahead, but its just another fighter in the way. This is the one the fans are waiting for so lets get it on.
Will the Limerick southpaws game plan differ much to the one for the Kiko fight? Arguably Kiko would have been expected to begin with a higher tempo in the early rounds but Casey remains tight-lipped about the approach he will take. In the last few months we have been preparing for two fights, Kiko then Paulie so theres no worries here about game plans. Ill be approaching the fight with the same mentality as I would have if it was Kiko, now that its two Irishmen fighting for the European title of course theres an added edge to it. Like I said before that title is not leaving Limerick, Im ready to put in the performance of my life and win that belt its as simple as that.
For fight fans, this is history in the making with November 6 marking the first ever European title fought between two Irishmen.
This is going to be an excellent fight, probably the best weve seen on these shores for a long time but I think Willie is just too strong for Paulie. This will be Paulie’s toughest fight hell have been in and there wont be anywhere to hide in Limerick. There were a number of back-handed comments from Hyland when it was up in the air about who would fight Kiko, calling him (Willie) a backward step and so on so I am personally looking forward to watching him eating those words, claimed Dolphil’s Daniel Halpin.
For Don OLeary he sees it in much the same light and does not think Hyland will have the answers to Willies power. Theres too much in favour for Willie, hes far more powerful a boxer then Paulie and with home advantage I can only see this going one way. Kiko would have been a much tougher opponent so Im happy with how things have transpired to be totally honest. When I called up Willie to break the news he said Don, I dont care who I fight which just gives you a glimpse of this fellas mentality, hed fight anyone.
Having moved to Dublin full-time in preparation for the fight leaving behind his young wife and family Casey admits its been tough but all will be worth while when the title is placed around his waist.
Of course its been tough, but the training Ive had in Dublin has been just excellent and I am ready to take the title home.