It has taken longer than I expected but Anthony Cacace is now being taken seriously as a future world title contender.
n the back of his brilliant win over Lyon Woodstock, Anto now has to be given the fights that will lead as quickly as possible to a world title shot. There can be no excuses for him not being put on a fast-track to his dream of becoming a world champion.
It isn’t the fact that he beat Woodstock, because he was expected to do that, but the manner in which he did it has got people in the boxing fraternity talking about him like never before. The obvious fight — and one that everyone in UK boxing would love to see — is against Archie Sharp, who is ranked two by the World Boxing Organisation.
To be honest I’m surprised how highly ranked Sharp is and I would back Anto to be too much for him. So, it’s over to his manager Pat Magee and Frank Warren to deliver that fight. Whether Sharp really wants it or not is another matter but both guys are with BT Sport so it should be easy to make and the winner could easily go on to fight for a world title.
Anto’s career has reached a crucial moment because he finally has some momentum and his profile is on the rise and to keep that going he needs a big fight and if it can’t be Sharp then I would go for my old rival and friend Kiko Martinez — and have it in Belfast.
Kiko is as tough as they come and he got robbed in his fight with Zelfa Barratt, who thinks he’s the No.1 super-featherweight in the UK.
It would bring a lot of interest and Kiko is always someone you can never take for granted.
Sharp should still be the first choice because a win would place Anto in line for a shot at the winner of the Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson fight, though if Stevenson was to win I would expect him to move up to lightweight and that would leave the belt vacant and Anto would be straight in for that.
Anto is on a roll now and I still believe there are a couple more levels he can go to but the win over Woodstock was the most impressive performance of his career so far. What I really liked was the intensity that he brought to the ring — usually he would start off a bit slowly but there was a new energy about him.
His footwork was terrific, he was aggressive and the way he can slip between orthodox and southpaw with ease will be a nightmare for any opponent. How do you prepare for someone who can do that?
If I was being ultra-critical I would have liked to have seen him stop Woodstock but he did explain that his hands had been hurt so I can understand why he didn’t go through the gears any more. He did show his power with the way he took away all the threat of Woodstock, who looked done by the ninth round, and the punch he floored him with was a beauty. His coach Harry Hawkins had called for it the round before and Anto showed that he had been listening and he delivered it with real speed and accuracy.
After years of stop-go, it now seems that Anto has the chance to fulfil his potential, so it’s over to his team to deliver the exciting fights that will take him to the world title stage.
I still can’t believe that the WBC allowed Oscar Valdez to go ahead with his successful world super-featherweight title defence against Robson Conceicao, on the back of a positive drugs test.
In explaining their decision, WBC President Mauricio Suliaman stated that: “To issue the final resolution, important considerations were carefully assessed: the type of substance and its properties; It is a medicine that suppresses the appetite and does not give any competitive advantage. The substance levels were 77 nanograms per millilitre, while the allowed limit is 50. The test was taken a month before the fight, and the next test, taken on August 30, came back negative.”
I just don’t accept that and I’m glad to see that VADA, who Valdez is signed up to, also don’t accept the WBC’s stance. This is a very black mark for boxing and just leaves the door open for anyone to take whatever they want leading up to a fight.
Valdez was a fighter that I always respected but after this I have lost all respect for him. The excuses just don’t sit right with me. From my amateur days I was well aware of what supplements could go into my body and they all had to have a specific mark to tell you they were allowed.
It’s very simple, if VADA state that the drug is banned then that’s it – case closed. When boxing goes against that then the sport is in a dire state.
Katie Taylor comfortably retained her world lightweight titles in Leeds last weekend and it’s quite obvious that only the very best are going to be a threat to the Bray woman.
So, it was good to hear promoter Eddie Hearn talking about a fight with Amanda Serrano, the unified featherweight world champion, next year in Madison Square Garden.
But what I find very strange is that nobody, including Hearn, is talking about a fight with Chantelle Cameron. To me it’s a natural domestic fight between two world champions and they have history because Katie beat her a couple of times as amateurs.
So, why no mention of Chantelle, who is the light-welterweight champion? Maybe Katie’s team don’t want it, but it does seem strange as it would be a big fight in the UK.
Josh Warrington was left very frustrated after his rematch with Mauricio Lara ended in a technical draw due to an awful cut over the Mexican’s left eye.
Listening to both his dad and promoter Eddie Hearn, I would say that we’ll not see Lara in the UK facing Warrington for a third time. I don’t think Hearn even wanted the rematch. When you have someone who can draw support like Josh, you don’t need a hard puncher like Lara.
Maybe down the line the third fight will happen and clearly Josh wants it to happen but I think Hearn will now pursue a world title shot for the Leeds warrior.
One thing that was complete nonsense was the suggestion by Josh’s dad that Lara didn’t have the heart for the battle. Lara deserves more big fights and has the bottle and punching power to trouble
anybody at the top level.