CORK, Ireland (September 19, 2011) – Former European and Prizefighter super bantamweight champion Willie “Big Bang” Casey returned to the ring last Saturday night in Belfast, stopped veteran Daniel Kodjo Sassou in the eighth round of their fight on the Tyson Fury-Nicolai Firtha card in famed King’s Hall.
Casey (12-1, 8 KOs), fighting out of Limerick, has now set his sights on World Boxing Association (“WBA”) Inter-Continental champion Scott Quigg (22-0, 15 KOs) or former United States Boxing Association (“USBA”) titlist Teon Kennedy (17-1-1, 17 KOs). Quigg, an Englishman, is rated No. 3 by the WBA and No. 4 by the International Boxing Federation (“IBF”),while Philadelphia- based Kennedy is ranked No. 8 by the IBF.
“Willie asked me to arrange fight with highly-touted Teon Kennedy or Scott Quigg,”Casey’s manager Gary Hyde said. “I am in the process of contacting their representatives this week and hopefully we can make a fight for Willie against one of these fighters. Willie fought a great fight last Saturday and he’s shown that there’s much more to Willle Casey than a ‘Big Bang.’ I am very happy with Willie’s performance. He works extremely hard and has the necessary desire to reach the top.”
Casey, a southpaw, was coming off of his only loss as a pro, last March to two-time Olympic gold medalist, Guillermo Rigondeaux, in their WBA Interim title fight. Hyde also manages “Rigo” but didn’t start working with Casey until after that fight.
Last Saturday night, Casey surprised his avid Irish fans by boxing off of his back foot, catching Kodjo from the start with effective counter-punches. More controlled than in the past, controlling his normally ultra-aggressive tendencies, Willie controlled the action and punished his French opponent until the referee halted the action in the eighth with Kodjo pinned defenselessly on the ropes.
“I am delighted with my performance and I promise there is more to come,” Casey commented after the fight. “I tried-out some new stuff that I learned from my coach, Paul McCullagh, and I really felt very effective. I always had plenty of power in both hands, but I have adjusted my style now, punching harder than ever. Kodjo was resilient and I knew that I was getting to him, hearing him wince when I delivered some heavy body shots. When the time was right, I moved in to finish him off in true ‘Big Bang’style. “I want to fight Scott Quigg or Teon Kennedy. My manager, Gary Hyde, is working to get one of them as an opponent for my next fight..”
Hyde had two others fighters in action last Saturday night in Belfast, junior welterweight Levan Ghvamichava (5-0, 4 KOs) and junior middleweight Dee Walsh. Ghvamichava, who is from Georgia and living in Belfast, damaged Joe Rea (7-6-1) so much in the first round that he was unable to continue fighting. Walsh won a four-round decision in a match-up of two boxers making their professional debuts.