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Hungry Cacace feels it's now or never for the big time

 

By David Kelly

It has been a long and winding road for Anthony Cacace so it is little wonder that he fears defeat in Wembley tonight could well leave him staring at a huge roadblock.

The 28-year-old Belfast man has been a paid up member of the 'who needs him club' for a great deal of his career and it was only the persistence of manager Pat Magee that essentially forced Martin Ward to put his British super-featherweight title on the line.

The vacant Commonwealth title is also up for grabs.

Cacace has endured periods of inactivity, a series of fights with journeymen and over the past two years the frustrating wait for a major title opportunity.

Five-and-a-half years after making his debut he finally walks to the ring believing he has the opportunity to prove to the British boxing fraternity his true potential.

A Celtic super-featherweight title victory over Ronnie Clark remains the highlight of his career, stopping the Scot in the 10th round, but now he must move up another level to conquer Ward.

"I know that if I don't win this fight then it is going to be very hard for me to get another one because I've found it so hard to get to this point," explained Cacace.

"I simply have to win this fight because champions won't want to take me as a voluntary defence.

"I suppose I can take that as a compliment.

"This fight has been three years in the making and I know that Ward and his promoter Eddie Hearn didn't want this fight.

"They know I'm a threat but also I know that I have to be very calculated if I am to win this fight.

"I know that I have the power to hurt anyone but my boxing skills are going to be crucial in this fight, I can't just come out swinging."

From a purely sporting standpoint, this challenge means so much to Cacace but equally he is well aware that victory would potentially be the first step towards transforming his life.

"A win would mean so much for me and my girlfriend and our children," he said.

"Ultimately this is why I fight and if I can beat Ward then I know there are bigger pay-days ahead and bigger opportunities," added Cacace.

"There would be a lot of emotion as well because I have given my life to boxing - it's all I've ever done.

"I just can't allow that emotion to be in the fight because Ward is a good operator. I just believe that I have the tools to beat him," he said.

"Win this and then I can really start looking for maybe a European title shot and that would take me a step closer to the ultimate goal of a world title shot.

"I 100 per cent believe that is the level I can reach and I just have to go out and prove it," he added.

In the main event, Chris Eubank jr meets former World champion Arthur Abraham, while IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby makes the third defence of his belt against mandatory challenger Jonathan Barros.

Selby is going through with the fight despite suffering the loss of his mother.

"I'm OK, I'm good. I'm here to do a job, and a job is what I'll do. I'll stay focused, stay professional," Selby said.

"Saturday night I'm going to get a win and travel back home to Barry.

"Family comes first. In my life, that's what comes first. Family and boxing - that's all I am."

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