Furey and Casey on song and prove a knockout for fans

NEW heavyweight sensation Tyson Furey stopped Nicolai Firtha in the fifth round of their scheduled 12 rounder at the King’s Hall, Belfast on Saturday when Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey shared the limelight with an eighth round stoppage against Daniel Kodjo Sassou to re-launch his career.

It was Casey’s first appearance in the ring since his ill fated title fight against the interim WBA super-bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux Guillermo that ended in the first round at City West six months ago.

And, while the rustiness of the six month lay-off was evident in the early rounds, once he got going the former European champion lived up to his trade name by disposing of an opponent who went the distance with current Irish featherweight champion Patrick Hyland in his last bout.

The Limerick southpaw, now managed by Rigondeaux’s manager Gary Hyde and trains in Belfast, was delighted with the the performance. “We knew he was going to be difficult because it was no last minute job with him (Sassou) as he had plenty of time to prepare,” he said. “He had a great opportunity here and you all saw his attempt. He was in excellent shape and he wasn’t over throwing his punches.

“We’re all different fighters. How I beat him and how Paddy (Hyland) beat him has got nothing to do with what me and Paddy would do in the ring.

“People tend to work off the last opponent but it doesn’t always work like that.

“The message is I’m learning how to box. I’m doing more moving and I felt myself a lot more elusive in there. Normally I might be just standing there throwing punches, but I was working on movement.

“If I had to go back to the old Willie Casey I could have done it, but there was no need because I was controlling the fight.”

Tyson Furey had the fans on their feet as he came back from a punishing third round to stop Nicolai Firtha 2 mins 19 seconds into the fifth.

Firtha, who has roots in Co. Clare, had been eyeing an Irish title fight but this may have put paid to those hopes.

“That’s heavyweight boxing — you get hit and you recover,” said Furey as he reflected on the third round. “That’s what fitness is about. I recovered and I got the job done.

It wasn’t so much that I was hurt, it was more that he caught me on the side of the head while I was off balance and it made me fall around a little bit. But I was alright.

“Hopefully I can go on now and do big things — win the world title but right now I’m looking at anybody they put in front of me.

It’s all down to Mick Hennessey — he’s my promoter and if he gets a fight for me. I’ll take it.

“I’ve always wanted a shot at the Irish title but it’s looking like we’re not going to be able to get one of the Irish guys to fight me.

“If anyone can coax Martin Rogan into a fight I’m ready and waiting.”

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