By David Mohan

RAY Ginley believes it is Anthony Cacace’s destiny to overcome Martin J Ward in this Saturday’s British and Commonwealth super-featherweight title clash at Wembley Arena.

The long-term friends and training partners’ journey has taken in a Subway in Andersonstown and has led them to the London Underground this weekend as they open a new chapter as coach and trainer.

Ginley – four years the junior of his fighter – trained alongside Cacace at St Oliver Plunkett Boxing Club in Andersonstown before their pro careers saw them become stablemates on both sides of the Atlantic before their paths took different directions with Cacace closing in on titles and Ginley now tasked with leading fighters to belts and he has no doubt his man will get the job done against Ward.

“We both worked in Subway on the Andytown Road,” revealed Ginley.

“I was 15 and he was 20. Fast forward eight years and we are going to Wembley Arena to lift the British title.

“It’s meant to be. I have no nerves because I know what Anto is capable of. I know how hard he’s trained and I just feel like this is his moment.

“Everyone knows how good Anto’s been. The boxing public in Belfast have been frustrated because he’s never been able to display his abilities against a top-level fighter and that’s what Martin J Ward is. He’s no dozer, but in Anto has been like a savage in sparring.

“There’s been no prisoners taken, he’s just emptying people so I’m fully confident we’re going over to London, taking what’s ours and coming home.”

On the face of it, switching to a new trainer ahead of what is a career-defining fight for Cacace may seem like a risk, but both men share a bond that saw them train together in their amateur days and as pros where they trained and shared a house with another West Belfast man, Tyrone McKenna.

Therefore, there is little they don’t know about each other and Ginley believes the chemistry between them is perfect and that will show in a best-ever performance from the supremely talented ‘Apache’ in London this Saturday.

“I know him inside out,” stressed the 24 year-old who built up a record of 6-0 before deciding to call time on his own career inside the ropes.

“I know what makes him tick. Different fighters need to be treated differently, but I know what way Anto likes to train, what makes him happy so I think the way things have turned out are the way they were supposed to.

“I think Anto is the happiest he has ever been in his career. It’s the biggest fight of his life, he’s in the best shape of his life, has made the weight easier than he’s ever made it and he’s happier than he’s ever been. In camps, people say they pick up niggles, but there’s been none of that – it’s been perfect.”

Certainly, there was a positive mood in the camp last Friday as Cacace began tapering down ahead of this weekend’s ITV Box Office card.

Cacace has been waiting patiently to show just what he can do against quality opposition and he has finally got his long-overdue chance to do just that.

Ward is a tricky operator, but Ginley has warned that if the defending British champion thinks Cacace is a one-trick pony, he is in for a major shock and is in no doubt he and Cacace will be celebrating their first titles together.

“Anto beat a lot of great fighters (as an amateur) like Stephen Donnelly, Sonny Upton and a lot more,” he countered.

“People think he’s just a massive puncher, but he’s a smashing boxer. I don’t want to give the game-plan away, but Anto is great at adapting. If he has to fight, he’ll fight, but if he has to box he can box.

“I think Martin Ward is going to be surprised when he comes out because he’s probably seen Anto’s fights and thinks he’s one-dimensional. He’s going to realise on the night just how well rounded Anto is.

“I know he’s said something like Anto thinks he’s the KO artist, basically saying that his punch power is overrated, but anyone I know who’s shared a ring with him has said his punch power is devastating. I hope he’s underestimating it because when he gets hit by it, it’s going to frighten him.”

Please follow and like us: