Title win adds 'a little more pressure' - Cacace

Anthony Cacace celebrates winning the world title
Anthony Cacace stunned Joe Cordina in May to win his first world title [Getty Images]

Anthony Cacace admits that being world champion "adds a little more pressure" but he is confident of defeating Josh Warrington.

Cacace's first defence of the IBF super-featherweight title will take place at Wembley Stadium on 21 September on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's bout with Daniel Dubois.

The Belfast boxer, 35, stunned the previously undefeated Joe Cordina in Saudi Arabia to claim the world title in May.

Leeds fighter Warrington, 33, is a two-time world champion but has lost his last two bouts.

"They will now expect for me to fight like that every time," Cacace told BBC Sport NI.

"I'm not being cocky or anything, but I genuinely believe I can beat Warrington too."

While Warrington is a two-time world champion, he has only won just one of his last five bouts.

His defeat by Luis Alberto Lopez saw him lose his IBF world featherweight belt and Leigh Wood successfully defended his WBA title against Warrington in October.

In contrast, Cacace is coming off the biggest win of his career, which came on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk's win over Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia, and is undefeated in his last seven bouts.

Despite a difference in form, Cacace admits it will be "a very difficult fight" against "great fighter" Warrington.

"I'm not going to take anything away from him. That's what he is," added Cacace.

"I feel like I have been watching Josh since I was 16. He has been around this game a long time.

"He's done things in the game that many could only dream of. We'll have to leave it down to the night and see what happens."

Wembley fight 'a dream come true'

Cacace added that having the first defence of his title at Wembley is a "dream come true" and "unbelievable".

He was set to fight at the London stadium back in 2022 on the undercard of Tyson Fury's bout with Dillian Whyte, but opponent Jonathan Romero withdrew days before the fight.

"I've had my bad luck at Wembley before and I've had time to set things straight. To have these big fights, I'm still in shock at the whole thing. It's insane.

"I've had my fair share of bad luck, so now I'm just really enjoying the bit of good luck that I've had."

Cacace said that becoming a world champion "has turned my whole life upside down", adding that his newfound attention and fame is "amazing".

"Before, everything was dead relaxed and I was alright flying under the radar," he said.

"I was still doing what I was doing but not too many people knew me.

"Now everywhere I go I get people asking for autographs and pictures or even a chat. I haven't had that my whole career.

"It's all new to me but I love it."

Leigh Wood
Josh Warrington is bidding to become a three-time, two-weight world champion despite October's defeat by Leigh Wood [Getty Images]

Despite recent defeats, Warrington said there is no extra pressure on him when he steps into the ring against Cacace.

"It seems to be when my back is against the wall that I pull my best performances out," said Warrington.

"His performance against Cordina was absolutely phenomenal. He has my full respect and we will throw the kitchen sink at each other."

Queensberry promoter Frank Warren said he believes Cacace is a "world-class" fighter" and the bout will be "one of the great fights on the card".

"Josh is a good fighter but I think he will be in with somebody who is coming into his own," said Warren.

"He has had a few disappointments over the years but if you are patient and keep at it like he has done, you can show what you are capable of.

"It is a fantastic fight. The winner will have the mandatory challenge against Eduardo Nunez, so that will be a big fight, but this is one of the great fights on the card. This will be an unbelievable fight."

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn added said he was delighted that Warrington had a shot at becoming a three-time, two-weight world champion at Wembley.

"Josh really deserves this. People talk about coming off the back of defeats, but just look at what he has done," he said.

"He is a fantastic fighter and super-featherweight will really suit him. I think this could be one of the fights of the night on a tremendous card."

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