Anthony Cacace's chance to push towards Santa Cruz duel
Manager Pat Magee has big plans for Anthony Cacace, if he can bring the British super-featherweight title back to Belfast.
This Saturday night in Birmingham, Cacace steps up for the biggest night of his career when he challenges champion Sam Bowen. Unbeaten in 15 fights, Bowen is also ranked eight with the WBO, while Cacace lost his top 15 ranking with the WBA due to inactivity.
Having narrowly lost a British title shot two years ago to Martin Ward, Cacace now admits he has arrived at a "do or die" moment in his career.
Manager Magee, who has a good relationship with the WBA, believes a victory over Bowen can totally transform his career. Indeed, Magee now has his long term sights on Leo Santa Cruz, who landed the WBA super-featherweight title at the weekend.
"This is a defining moment in Anthony's career. If be beats Bowen then I would be confident he will be rated by the WBA and then, right away, you're on a path to Santa Cruz," said Magee.
"After winning earlier in the year Anthony was in their top 15 so I would expect the same thing to happen this time because Bowen is a higher calibre of opponent - probably the best Anthony has faced so far.
"Bowen has a world rating with the WBO and clearly has his own world title ambitions so it just shows you how big a win it would be for Anthony and I believe he has has the all attributes to deliver it."
Magee insists that Cacace has learned from the loss to Ward when some felt he had done enough to deserve the decision in a tight encounter.
Bowen will come with a great deal more aggression and the 30-year-old Belfast man, whose only loss in 18 fights was to Ward, knows he will have to produce the performance of his career.
"With Anthony being away from home, he cannot be just stealing rounds - he has to be winning rounds clearly to make sure he wins the title," added Magee.
"He has to show a real intensity from start to finish because we have seen lately that you just never know how the judges are seeing a tight fight. At the weekend, Callum Smith defeated John Ryder in a close fight and it ended up being very wide on the cards. That can happen if a judge just edges a lot of the close rounds to one fighter.
"So, Anthony has to go out and stamp his authority on the fight and he knows that. He has learned from his mistakes in the Ward fight and really want this to be the night when people can say they have seen the real Anthony Cacace - the one that people have been waiting to see.
"If that's the case then he really can start dreaming about a possible world title shot.
"That's how quickly a career can turn around in this business after one big win.
"We know it's not going to be easy because Bowen is on a roll and has banked some good wins but I don't believe he has been in with someone who hits as hard as Anthony, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts.
"Anthony is not someone who is easy to prepare for because he is so tall for the weight and he can box as well as punch.
"I do think the fans are in for a very good fight on Saturday night."
On a sad note, the father of Cacace's coach Harry Hawkins has passed away. Tommy Hawkins was 92.
His funeral is expected to take place on Thursday.