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Anthony Cacace and Tommy McCarthy on the march British title bouts


Big night: Tommy McCarthy aims to book a British title shot

Big night: Tommy McCarthy aims to book a British title shot

Big night: Tommy McCarthy aims to book a British title shot

Tommy McCarthy knows he can seal a shot at the British cruiserweight title this Saturday night, while his close friend Anthony Cacace has just been guaranteed his own opportunity at winning the Lonsdale belt.

Both men are managed by Belfast man Pat Magee who is aiming to secure them home advantage for their respective title fights - assuming all goes to plan this weekend in Manchester when unbeaten McCarthy meets Matty Askin in a final eliminator for a showdown with Craig Kenneday for the vacant championship in the Spring.

Fellow Belfast man Cacace is also on the Manchester card in a six rounder against Leonel Hernandez of Nicaragua as he ticks over ahead of his shot at the super-featherweight title.

British 9st 4lb champion Martin Ward defends his title against Scotland's Ronnie Clark - whom Cacace has already stopped in a Celtic title fight - and will then meet Maxi Hughes in February. Then the door opens for hard hitting, unbeaten Cacace.

Following negotiations over the weekend, an agreement as been reached with all parties, including the British Boxing Board of Control, that Cacace will the mandatory challenger for the super-featherweight title after Ward faces Hughes.

Ward is expected to make two comfortable defences before meeting Cacace.

Manager Magee said: "I'm delighted that we now have a clear plan set in place for Anthony. He's guaranteed a British title shot in the Spring and Tommy has the chance to make it two Ulstermen fighting for British titles in 2017 with a win over Matty Askin.

"It's exciting times for boxing here. You have the new venue of the Titanic Exhibition Centre which is ideal with just a few tweaks needed and with BT Sport teaming up with Frank Warren's BoxNation that has to be good for boxers here in terms of getting them opportunities to fight for titles.

"We now have the realistic prospect of having two British champions at the same time and its been a long time since that was the case."

Looking ahead to McCarthy's fight with Askin, Magee is confident that the swashbuckling Belfast man will continue his path to British title success and beyond.

"This is a big night for Tommy, he has to deliver to get his British title chance and I believe he will," added Magee.

"Tommy's one of the most exciting talents around. He has the boxing skills and he has the power and all being well 2017 is going to be an exciting year for him.

"Askin is an experienced campaigner - he only lost on points to former British champion Ovill McKenzie - so this is a real test for Tommy."

Belfast Telegraph