Big bang set for September return

Limerick boxer Willie Casey will make his return to the ring in September

Limerick boxer Willie Casey will make his return to the ring in September

LIMERICK’S Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey is set to make his comeback to the boxing ring at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in September when he faces experienced French super bantamweight, Daniel Kodjo Sassou.

The Saturday, September 3 bout is the first of three fights planned for Casey before Christmas with the possibility that all three contests will be staged in Limerick.

Casey is now under the management of Gary Hyde, who also manages Guillermo Rigondeaux, the Cuban, a double Olympic and world amateur champion, who dramatically defeated the Limerickman in their WBA world interim super bantamweight title fight at the City West Conference Centre in March.

Should Casey win his three comeback fights before the end of the year, the 29-year-old could fight for an EBU title early in 2012.

Willie’s new backroom team includes renowned cutsman Mick Williamson and trainers Paul and Sean McCullough.

Willie Casey, whose only defeat in 13 pro contests came against Rigondeaux, said he was ‘really excited’ to be on the comeback trail against the 31-year-old Frechman and was looking forward to fighting in his home town at the start of September.

“I am relieved that the change of management has been sorted out. Things ended on good terms with my previous manager. There was no bad blood. I have a new manager on board and am really excited about the fight against Kodjo Sassou at LIT,” Willie Casey enthused.

“Kadjo Sassou is a really experienced guy who has been around a while. Some people may wonder what I didn’t look for an easier fight back, but I want to step up to this level straight away, remain up at the top.”

Former Prizefighter winner Casey revealed that he only took a one-week break from training in the wake of his defeat to Rigondeaux.

“Following on from the Rigondeaux fight, we went on a week-long family holiday and it was the longest time I took off from boxing,” Willie Casey said.

“I always keep myself in good physical shape, but I enjoyed the week off.

“We are looking at three fights before the end of the year. I will get more rounds and invaluable experience under my belt as a result.

“We will see how things go after the September 3 fight. Gary Hyde is looking at trying for a European belt or having a fight with a world-ranked opponent early in the New Year.

“We will see how things go. Boxing is very unpredictable. The support I have received has been amazing. I will always remember that.

“My plan from here is to go up to Belfast in a week and a half or two weeks time to begin preparations up there for the fight at LIT. I will be involved in a six-week training camp. I am excited about it.

“I never once thought about giving up boxing after I lost to Rigondeaux. What happened happened. Who knows if our paths will cross again?”

Casey does not expect his September 3 bout to be shown live on TV.

Willie Casey won the EBU Super Bantamweight title in front of 2,500 people and the RTE cameras in UL Arena in November. Casey was the first man from Limerick to win a European boxing title.