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Job done: Anthony Cacace celebrates his points victory

Job done: Anthony Cacace celebrates his points victory

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Job done: Anthony Cacace celebrates his points victory

Anthony Cacace knows Saturday night was just the re-boot of his career and now the 30-year-old wants the fights to come thick and fast for the remainder of the year.

The Belfast man returned to the ring after 14 months and demonstrated flashes of his undoubted natural ability, while dealing with the effects of inactivity in his points victory over Argentinian Alan Castillo at the O2 Arena, on the same bill which saw Chris Eubank jnr enjoy a 12-rounds win over former world champion James DeGale - clearly well past his best.

Cacace's manager Pat Magee says he is eager to see the super-featherweight return to the ring in eight weeks time and that is music to his ears.

"I'm going to take a couple of days off and get back to the gym on Wednesday. I need to stay active and I know Pat is going to be working hard to make sure that's the case," said Cacace.

"The good thing for me was that we met with the ITV guys and they have said they are keen to have me on their shows and that platform is crucial. It means that opportunities will come for me.

"The preparation for this fight wasn't great. I only had 40 rounds of sparring and had about four different opponents until Castillo was confirmed and having been out for 14 months, to be honest, I just didn't feel great in the ring. I felt my timing was a bit off and the sharpness wasn't there. It it had been I could have got the guy out of there.

"But the main thing is I have got the win, I've got my career going again and I know that if I stay active I can achieve big things. It has been tough the last 14 months but that's behind me now and I want to just focus on the future."

The Belfast man stung Castillo with straight left and right hands and, when he wanted, Cacace connected with short left and right hooks.

Having put so much into the early stages, Cacace's inactivity came to the fore in the sixth when his workrate dropped and that allowed Castillo to have some success as he shuffled forward and scored at close quarters.

Manager Magee is confident that the Belfast man will be part of the next ITV show in a couple of months time.

"I would hope to have Anthony out in eight weeks time, that's the plan. Now we have got him going again, we need to keep him busy," said Magee.

"This was a good workout for him against a good opponent for someone coming back to the ring after 14 months.

"ITV are back in boxing in a big way and that's good news for us because he can get the chances he really wants."

As for Eubank, he is now aiming to box for one of the major world titles following his defeat of DeGale, who hinted at retirement at the end of the 12 rounds.

"I'm coming for all the other belts in the super-middleweight or the middleweight division," said Eubank.

"I dominated pretty much every single round. People said I was gonna have my head jabbed off; I proved those guys wrong."

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist James McGivern picked up his first Irish senior title on Saturday night and now has his sights on a shot at qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ulster came away with three women's titles from Dublin's National Stadium as Monkstown's Michaela Walsh, Canal's Chloe Fleck and Holy Family's Carly McNaul won the 57kg, 48kg and 51kg titles, respectively, while McGivern showed his grit and guile to land the men's 63kg championship.

McGivern, from St George's, defeated George Bates on a 3-2 verdict and the slick southpaw will now expect to be part of the Irish team heading to the European Games in Minsk in June.

Belfast Telegraph