Venue issue scuppers Casey’s comeback hopes

WILLIE ‘BIG BANG’ CASEY’S return to competitive boxing has been put on hold after a problem with the venue emerged yesterday.

Casey, who suffered a first round defeat at the hands of Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux in their WBA title fight at City West last March, was aiming for his return at the Limerick Institute of Technology on September 3 against Frenchman, Daniel Kodjo.

However the fight was pulled yesterday morning after promoter Gary Hyde confirmed the venue was unavailable.

“As we speak the show is off,” he said. “It’s on account of repeat exams scheduled for the Friday and again on the Monday and it was felt they could not get the seating back in place in time for the Monday exams.”

In a twist of fate Hyde, who manages Rigondeaux, signed the Limerick southpaw and mapped out his route towards reclaiming the European title which he relinquished to fight for the WBA interim super bantamweight title. Now he is hoping to find a slot for Casey on next month’s Tyson Fury undercard at the Kings Hall in Belfast.

Hyde had also included two of his other boxers on the Limerick bill, light welterweight, Levan Ghvamichava and welterweight Mark Heffron.

“I will be talking to Michael Hennessy again tonight,” Hyde said.

“Obviously I would like to have Willie on the King’s Hall show and Michael has already shown an interest in Levan Ghvamichava. I will be looking at changing tickets for Daniel Kodjo, too, in the hope that fight can still go ahead.”

Casey, too, is hoping he will get a place on the bill and he wants to fight Kodjo.

“Look, I’m very disappointed over the Limerick show but I’m the type of guy who just gets on with it.

“I’m up in Belfast for the last five weeks training with Sean and Paul McCullagh and it is a whole new ball game. We have been working on a whole lot of new things — new to me — and, to be honest, I’d be glad to spend another two or three weeks working on them.

“I just can’t wait to get into the ring and put it all into practice for the fans and I can tell you they will see a new Willie Casey.

“I’m hoping to get on the Tyson Fury show because that’s a great show and I feel that I could contribute a lot to it. This would be a great fight between myself and Daniel Kodjo because I know that Kodjo has been preparing for it for the past seven weeks. ”

* Eight Irish boxers will be in action at today's European Youth Championships at the Citywest Convention Centre in Dublin.

Team captain Michael McDonagh, Kieran Forde, Michael O'Reilly, Stephen Broadhurst and Gary Sweeney joined Evan Metcalfe, Joe Fitzpatrick and Jack Morrissey in the quarter-finals with last-16 wins yesterday.

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