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Cacace takes leaf out of Frampton book for title bid

 

By David Kelly

By his own admission, dedication was not always at its optimum for Anthony Cacace who tomorrow night bids to become the British and Commonwealth super-featherweight champion.

Cacace features on the undercard of Chris Eubank jnr's clash with former World champion Arthur Abraham at Wembley Arena when he meets British champion Martin J Ward, the vacant Commonwealth belt also on the line.

The opportunity arrives for the 28-year-old after a stop-start career to this point and along the way he had the chance to spend 18 months in London working alongside two-weight World champion Carl Frampton. It was then that the Belfast man admits he had a light bulb moment.

"Training alongside Carl made me realise what it was going to take for me to be a champion," said Cacace.

"Watching the way Carl went about his work, the intensity that he brings to every training session and also the way he spars woke me up to the reality of why he was at the top. He does everything right - mentally and physically I knew I had to raise my level.

"From then on I copied the way he sparred, the level he brought to the spar. The guy is a legend, he's done it all and watching him 100 per cent changed me as a fighter.

"That's why going into this fight I know that I am fitter than ever. I've never worked as hard and made the weight as easily as I have for this."

Unbeaten Cacace, managed by Belfast man Pat Magee, is taking a slight step up in class when facing Ward who has also yet to taste defeat as a professional - with two draws on his 19-fight record.

The Belfast man insists he knows what to expect from Ward and clearly feels that his power will be the deciding factor.

"From what he has been saying, Ward seems to be very confident and maybe that's because I haven't really had a good fight in a couple of years - the last two journeymen I beat I just trained for a week, made weight and then went and won the fights. But let's just see what happens when I land that first punch," added Cacace.

"I have a gameplan and I believe that if I stick to that then things will be alright. There will be a moment when I have the chance to unload some big shots and we'll see how he reacts. I truly believe that there's not a harder puncher than me in the world at super-featherweight."

The two men have a common opponent in Scotland's Ronnie Clark, who was stopped in the 10th round of a Celtic title fight by Cacace but last year went the distance with Ward.

Cacace added: "I saw the fight between Ward and Clark and I'm taking a lot of confidence from that because I bided my time with Clark and still had the power at the end of the fight to get the stoppage.

"Ward is there to be hit. He's a good boxer and he can be awkward but Clark showed that he's not hard to hit and Clark doesn't hit anywhere near as hard as I do.

"I'll certainly not be taking anything for granted because Ward has boxed at this level for a while but I'm feeling very confident.

"I've had some very good sparring, I've put the work in and now I'm ready to go and we'll see how it turns out. I'll give it everything."

Belfast Telegraph

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