16 March 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Phil Sutcliffe believes he can mastermind one the greatest world title upsets of all time as he prepares Willie Casey to do battle with Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA interim world title.
The Irish Coach Of The Year admits Casey will face a tough test in City West, but claims there isnt enough letters in the alphabet for the amount of plans and strategies they have for Saturdays mouthwatering clash. The Crumlin boss stressed preparations couldnt have gone any better and believes he has a masterplan that will ensure Big Bang will defuse the favoured Cuban missile.
Sutcliffes confidence has been enhanced by the determined glare the former European amateur medallist sees in the in the eye of the former European Champion.
The co-promoter of Saturdays massive show revealed Casey is rejoicing in the massive workload and claims when he looks in the eyes of the Limerick native he sees a world champion.
We never took a fight that we didnt think Willie could win,” he said. “I believe we can win and I am confident we can get that belt. There is no doubting it will be tough and we are in against a brilliant fighter but we have looked at the kid and we are confident we can win.
Willie has the edge. He is razor sharp. Willie has been up in Dublin working hard for 10 weeks. But the beauty of Willie is that he loves it. He loves the game. He loves to work and train. I look him in the eye now and I see a champion. It will be hard and he will take a few whacks but he is a champion in waiting. We know Rigodeaux is quality he can bang and his movement is great. However, you can’t run for 12 rounds you have to mix it up at one stage and thats all Willie needs to slow him down. Willie is going to have to chase him, but in the pro game the lad that runs doesnt get the points. You can win rounds on aggression he will have to bear that in mind.
The former Irish Olympian holds the belief, that the man Freddie Roach – when speaking to www.irish-boxing.com – labelled the greatest counter puncher he has ever witnessed, will run but he wont be able to hide.
Sutcliffe, who predicts the referee will count to 10 before the judges combined marks out of 10 come into play, claims Casey will be a hide and seek specialist. According to his coach, the pint sized powerhouse will set up residence on the Cubans chest.
Sutcliffe revealed Casey will pressure the two time World and Olympic champion so much the Cuban will have rope marks permanently tattooed on his back after the biggest bout to come to Ireland since the Bernard Dunne era.
The opening rounds are key. If Willie catches him in any of the early rounds the fight will change. Ask Paulie Hyland, ask Tyson Cave, once Willie hits you, you have to revert to tactic B,C and D and so forth. He will be saying to himself How am I going to get this man off my chest. I am hitting with everything and he is still here.. Willie will get caught but he wont move back. It will Rigo that will be going back toward the ropes the excited coach added.
A massive distinction between the amateur and pro games has been a reoccurring theme from camp Casey since this fight was made and Sutcliffe didnt drift from the script. Speaking during the final press day before the massive fight on Saturday he warned the Gary Hydes charge that although he might be the greatest amateur of all time, Willie Casey is a pro master.
Sutcliffe hinted the Cuban sensation has yet to be really tested in the paid ranks and was adamant that will change come Saturday night.
This is Willies game. Willie Casey wasnt a great amateur but he is a great pro. The same goes for Steve Collins and we seen what happened him. Rigodeaux is fantastic, we all know what he has achieved, but he done most of that in amateur game.
He has only had seven pro fights and he has been well guided and managed by Bob Arum and his team. Some of the fighters he has faced wouldnt stand in the ring with Willie. In fact they wouldnt be good enough for some of the amateurs we have here in Crumlin gym. That isnt taking anything away from Rigondeaux he is elusive and he can punch. He has a lot of quailties but so has Willie. Willie is tough, he can bang.
Rigondeaux has yet to be tested as a pro. I never seen him been pushed hard. Cordoba hurt him at one stage in his last fight and I would put Willie in against Cordoba tomorrow.