‘Big Bang’ gunning for Kiko showdown

WILLIE “Big Bang” Casey says he is the one who’ll be gunning for Kiko Martinez once he takes care of business tomorrow night against Italian super bantamweight, Emiliano Salvini, at CityWest Hotel where Dolphil Promotions stage a 10-fight card with Limerick’s Prizefighter top of the bill.

Earlier this week Martinez, who fights for the European title in Dublin next month, said he will be calling Bernard Dunne back out of retirement once he reclaims the title he won previously from Dunne, insisting that he would fight Willie Casey and Paulie Hyland on the one night.

“That’s just fighting talk,” Casey said. “I know I’m not ranked at the moment but my opponent on Saturday night is ranked No 9 in Europe and once I take care of business they will have no option but to fight me. I am the one who will be gunning for them and I’m not just talking about Martinez, I am talking about Paulie Hyland as well.

“Paulie thinks fighting me would be a backward step for him too. I would challenge him for his Irish title but it would cost less to fight for a world title with the price he is putting on it. Maybe after Saturday night he will have no option but to fight me.

“And the same goes for Kiko Martinez. He is just talking himself up. He came to Dublin three years ago and he got lucky with Bernard Dunne. But he didn’t look so good when he lost the title to Randall Munroe.

“I certainly wouldn’t back off from a fight with Martinez. What a fight that would be for the boxing fans. We are both bangers, we both like to go at it toe to toe. It is a big possibility one of us would get knocked out in the early rounds but if that did not happen it would be some fight for the fans.

Casey has made the sacrifices for this weekend’s showdown against the Italian. Instead of his twice-weekly visits to Philip Sutcliffe’s Crumlin gym he has based himself in Dublin for the past five weeks. “There is a lot hanging on this fight and it’s a huge incentive for me. I know what it means to me if I win and I just can’t afford to let the opportunity slip. I have watched my opponent on DVD and I have a lot of respect of him. He does not have too many knock downs on his card but he has not been knocked down very often either.”

Fight programme

Super Bantamweight (8rds): W Casey (Limerick, 9-0) v E Salvini (Rome, 13-11-1).

Light Heavyweight (6 rds): J Waldron (Ballyhaunis, 5-2) v A Barabanovs (Latvia, 4-1).

Light Welterweight (6 rds): D Byrne (Dublin, 12-0) v Konstantins Sakara (Latvia, 6-12-1).

Super Middleweight (6 rds): Anthony Fitzgerald (Dublin, 7-2) v Phillip Townley (Belfast, 1-3).

Welterweight (4 rds): Gavin Prunty (Dublin, 2-1) v Johnny Greaves (London, 2-51).

Middleweight (4 rds): Alan Donnellan (Galway, 1-0) v Lester Walsh (Leicester, 2-9-1).

Light Heavyweight (4 rds): Darren Cruise (Roscommon, debut) v James Tucker (Doncaster, 3-26-3).

Super Middleweight (4 rds): JJ McDonagh (Mullingar, 2-0) v Tommy Tolan (Belfast, 3-3).

Lightweight (4 rds): Finbarr Eade (Westport, 1-0) v Nikolajs Jasenko (Latvia, 1-5).

Female Super Bandamweight (4 rds): C McMahon (Carrickmacross, debut) v I Lieknina (Latvia, 1-1).

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