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Anthony Cacace set to defend British title this summer in BT studios


Anthony Cacace celebrates beating Sam Bowen to win the British Super Featherweight title in November.

Anthony Cacace celebrates beating Sam Bowen to win the British Super Featherweight title in November.

Getty Images

Anthony Cacace celebrates beating Sam Bowen to win the British Super Featherweight title in November.

Anthony Cacace will be part of boxing's big comeback this summer when he makes the first defence of his British super-featherweight title.

The Belfast man signed a promotional deal with Frank Warren, who is lining up a series of shows that will be staged at the BT studios in London.

BT Sport, just like every other broadcaster, is desperate to see the return of live action and for a few years now boxing has been a crucial element of their output.

With the Premier League's television dates now in place, boxing promoters can start establishing when they can run shows in conjunction with the broadcasters they are linked to.

July and August are now expected to see numerous bills beamed on Sky and BT Sport, with Warren and Eddie Hearn under instruction from the British Boxing Board of Control to make sure dates do not clash.

Cacace's manager Pat Magee says he is hoping to have a firm date in place for the 30-year-old's return to the ring very soon, believing it will be an opportunity for the British champion to push further up the world ratings over the coming months.

"We are confident that Anthony will be defending his title by the end of July or early August. I know at the moment that the regulations stipulate no title fights, but everyone concerned is hopeful that will change to allow titles to be contested," said Magee.

"It has been a tough time for everyone and in particular boxers, who if they're not fighting don't get paid, so it's a relief to see boxing on the way back in the UK. Every boxer is going to be in the same boat - they will have to work hard to get their fitness up and we're just waiting to get the green light from the Board about sparring.

"Thankfully, Anthony has the British title to defend because we're now in a situation where all money is coming from TV and there's no gate money, so the broadcaster more than ever is calling the shots in terms of quality control. They will be demanding exciting fights and Anthony is in a division that is red-hot.

"It's also quite clear that because of the virus we are going to see a focus on all-UK and Irish fights and in the British super-featherweight division at the moment there are a lot of good fights that can be made.

"One of the biggest out there is Anthony against Archie Sharp. That could easily be sanctioned as a final eliminator for the WBO World super-featherweight title. My big concern would be for those fighters who at this point in time are not seen as attractive for television, or those deemed journeymen, because there can only be five fights on each card."

The British Boxing Board of Control have laid down strict guidelines and Magee admits that he will not be able to travel to watch Cacace defend his title due to the restriction on the number of people working alongside a fighter.

"The good news for me recently was the return of golf, so I can get out and play a bit, but in regard to Anthony's fight, I'll have to watch on BT Sport just like everyone else because he will only be allowed to be with his trainer and an assistant," he said.

"They will all have to stay in the same hotel and be tested each day and their temperature taken right up to going into the ring. This is the way it has to be.

"But, you have to look at it positively and I can see some great domestic fights being made. In some ways it will be a throwback to the 1950s and 60s, when there was a lot less concern about building up unbeaten records and more about taking risks and being in good fights - and that's what TV and the public want.

"So, this will be an opportunity for Anthony to really make his mark because so many more people, desperate to see live sport, are going to be tuning in."

Belfast Telegraph