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Old 03-05-2011, 04:08 AM   #30781
ardy
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PAUL GRIFFINS LATEST FIGHT


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WINKY WRIGHT PULLS OUT OF MACKLIN FIGHT DUE TO HAND INJURY
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McGUIGAN: FRAMPTON DESERVES TITLE SHOT
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FRAMPTON LOOKING TO BETTER KIKO AND ALEXI
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RIGO HAS NOWHERE TO HIDE
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VINNIE O'BRIEN: "I'M GOING TO BE AN UP AN D COMER AND SOMEONE TO RECKON WITH IN THE BOXING WORLD"
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HATTO DEFIANT OVER TITLE HOPES
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:27 AM   #30782
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What BamBam's money paid for - courtesy of Ireland's #1 sports photographer Kevin Finn

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Old 03-05-2011, 07:35 AM   #30783
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Yawns all round as Perez lives up to his reputation

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Old 03-05-2011, 08:37 AM   #30784
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allright lads any of you's familiar with how the irish amateur scene works ? i know it goes something like irish boy 1 2 3 4 then youth 1 2 3 then junior 1 2 3. but at what age group are these classes at ? how is it structured for kids of young ages ?
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:42 AM   #30785
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allright lads any of you's familiar with how the irish amateur scene works ? i know it goes something like irish boy 1 2 3 4 then youth 1 2 3 then junior 1 2 3. but at what age group are these classes at ? how is it structured for kids of young ages ?
Boy 1 is for 11 year olds, boy 2 is 12 year olds and so on and so forth. There is no Youth 3 or Junior 1 2 3.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:57 AM   #30786
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Boy 1 is for 11 year olds, boy 2 is 12 year olds and so on and so forth. There is no Youth 3 or Junior 1 2 3.
so what about under 11's like 8 and 9 year old kids is there no intermediate championships for them ? and what about boxers like john joe nevin he was 17 so still at junior level but yet qualified for the olympics wats the story with that is there no age limit to compete as a senior ?
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:33 AM   #30787
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so what about under 11's like 8 and 9 year old kids is there no intermediate championships for them ? and what about boxers like john joe nevin he was 17 so still at junior level but yet qualified for the olympics wats the story with that is there no age limit to compete as a senior ?
There is no championships for under 11s. The starting age for a senior boxer is 17. You can compete at Juniors as well but I think if you have won a senior title at 17 you cant box as a Junior anymore.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:34 AM   #30788
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17 is the youngest for the seniors and 34 or 35 the oldest as far as I know.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:50 AM   #30789
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Lads...Just subcribed to Setanta sports(tried to subscribe to premier but it's Not Available in N Ireland) Just wondering in Premier + Setanta are the same outfit? Do they show the same fights? Are Setanta showing the Martinez + Lee card next weekend?
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:18 AM   #30790
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Lads...Just subcribed to Setanta sports(tried to subscribe to premier but it's Not Available in N Ireland) Just wondering in Premier + Setanta are the same outfit? Do they show the same fights? Are Setanta showing the Martinez + Lee card next weekend?
They are attached in some way, not sure if theyre actually the same bunch or what. Setanta are showing the Lee/Martinez card and the Magee fight the week after but they dont show every fight that premier does.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:39 AM   #30791
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Lads...Just subcribed to Setanta sports(tried to subscribe to premier but it's Not Available in N Ireland) Just wondering in Premier + Setanta are the same outfit? Do they show the same fights? Are Setanta showing the Martinez + Lee card next weekend?
Setanta and Premier are separate channels and separate companies. And yes, Setanta will be showing Andy Lee next weekend, and Brian Magee the following weekend.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:22 PM   #30792
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Casey at the ready as two fates collide
BOXING WBA WORLD TITLE FIGHT: Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey has grown to become a role model in his community and can’t wait to get to grips with Guillermo ‘El Chacal’ Rigondeaux in their WBA World Title fight in Dublin. TOM HUMPHRIES meets the Limerick man as he prepares to face the Cuban with a storied past

TWO MEN in a hurry. A couple of extraordinary fellas carrying strange and compelling back stories as they rush past us. Two hard, wiry southpaw men whose paths cross on a patch of canvas laid down in a bespoke Dublin hotel.

From the ring, another dream of blood and bravery, another night of warriors.

A settling between men with unblemished records, one of those perfect storms where something has to give.

First, Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Guillermo is the older of the two by a shade. He was born 30 years ago in Cuba in the seaport town of Santiago, 550 miles south east of Havana. They call him El Chacal. As in The Day of The Jackal. He counter punches with the assassin’s cold precision.

His amateur career as a boxer is an epic story in itself. Two Olympic gold medals (Sydney and Athens). A record of 243 wins and four losses. He was national champion seven times and a hero in Cuba. Felix Savon. Teofilio Stevenson. The path to their pantheon stretched before him.

Across the square the unmistakeably Irish features and red hair of Willie Casey.

Willie was born in South Hill in Limerick. They call him Big Bang. It suits. Traveller stock. Willie arrived in the middle of a family of 23 children. He was the first of the family to stay in school to do his junior cert and every brother or sister who came after him did the same, at least.

And then he went and worked. Anything he could get. Then he learned a trade, welding. He would have liked to be a carpentry, but welding came along first and he has always been in a hurry. He got his trade and life seemed set.

The apple held before him in the eden of the professional world had the customary effect.

Guillermo Rigondeaux reached out. You are 243 and four and somebody says that a short, sharp pro career can make your bank account stats look just as impressive. You’ll be televised. The revolution, sadly, won’t be.

So Rigondeaux tried to jump in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro. Failed. Had to return to Cuba, a jackal with a tail between its legs. He was banned from the national team. He missed Beijing and the near certainty of a third gold medal.

Two years later, a court in

New York City would be the playground in which a legal tug of war for Rigondeaux reached settlement. Afterwards, the victor, Gary Hyde of Cork, explained.

“When I signed Rigondeaux in 2007, my plan was to bring him to Ireland for a couple of fights and then take ‘Rigo’ and heavyweight sensation Mike Perez to the United States. This plan was hindered by Rigo’s failed attempt to defect.

“I kept close contact with him when he was sent back to Cuba. After he was banned from boxing on the Cuban national team, preventing him from winning his third gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, I became increasingly worried that my marketing plan and golden opportunity to manage the greatest amateur boxer of all-time was in jeopardy.

“I never gave up hope, however, and continued to support Rigo and his family as we plotted together his escape from Cuba.”

Willie Casey never plotted a defection from Limerick. He loves the place. Some of the Dubs he spars with tell him that he should forget about being Big Bang and come into the ring with a Tesco bag on his head and his horse outside. He laughs it off with his usual good humour, but Limerick is a passion.

“I come from a disadvantaged area and I am a member of the travelling community,” he says baldly, “some people, even some people at home, think there is nothing else out there except drugs and gangs. There is. If I can do it, they can do it. In my career I just want to send out that message.”

His mother, Kathleen, and his father, Terry, kept him in school. It wasn’t hard. His Dad loves horses and if Willie was around the place on a school day, cleaning up for the horses and cleaning up after the horses was the only entertainment available. It was much easier to go to school.

“He’d say to me the next day, ‘well, do you want to stay home’?. I’d say, ‘no, it’s okay thanks’. I loved going to school anyway. I loved learning. I am grateful for what I have today.”

He was the first of the clan to get a junior cert and to his regret had to leave school in fifth year. He went working to bring in a wage. First at the old graveyard washing cars and fixing punctures, then butchers work, some labouring and into steel work.

“I made the most of everything while it all lasted.”

A Simple Plan. In July 2007 Guillermo Rigondeaux and his friend the Cuban welterweight world champion Erislandy Lara were set to hit the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. They were experienced amateur internationals, well-known Cuban sports stars. Nobody suspected that they planned to defect during the Games.

Somewhere along the line a connection got lost or sundered. Rigondeaux and Lara vanished into the roiling city and were conformed as missing , presumed defected, a day or two later. And then. Pop. They resurfaced. The government said they were found with some prostitutes, but for the hero-turned-defector the Cuban government is a friend scorned.

They were arrested and accused of overstaying their visas and sent back to the island.

This time life was different. Boxing was taken away. A failed defection makes a ghost of a man.

Rigondeaux still lived in the Boyeros district of Havana, but now he haunted it rather than inhabited it.

His fame and the honour he had brought to Cuba was such that he had been granted the rarest of gifts from Fidel – a new but modest motor car. This was taken away. He had no job. He was quarantined; the boxing community barred from communicating with him.

He had a partner and a son and a glorious past.

Nothing lasts. Work dried up for Willie Casey and he found himself with the same basic need as Guillermo Rigondeaux. He had a wife and four kids. They had developed the habit of being fed.

They were keen to continue.

Willie who played everything from rugby to hurling as a young fella went back to one of his first loves. Boxing.

Boxing is in the family blood. Not a raging torrent of it, just a quiet tradition. Willie’s father did some, though Willie says with a grin that he’s hazy about whether it was in the ring or outside. All Willie’s older brothers boxed a bit. And Willie fought for a little while as an amateur.

“Didn’t put too much time in it. And then I gave up when I was working and getting married and settled down. But when the work went quiet and I went back into the amateurs, I started putting in a bit of time and effort. Phil Sutcliffe saw me one day. He approached me and talked to me about the professional game.

“I knew that my style didn’t suit the amateurs. He did too. I know that. I knew I was short of the skill and technique for the amateurs, but I didn’t know a lot about the pro game. I thought you had to be an Olympic gold medallists to make it. It’s not the way. It’s a different game.”

Two-and-a half years later he is fighting for a world title on March 19th. That is just three months after winning a European title. His record is perfect.

Willie was 26 when Phil Sutcliffe approached him in the run up to the Beijing games. Phil told him if he was ever to turn pro, that was the time to go.

Phil and his business partner the promoter Don O’Leary were running a show in October of 2008. Willie started training and took it from there. People saw him improving. He felt it himself. Tidying up the shots. Moving better. Hitting harder. He became Big Bang.

He is in love with this game now. Regardless of how hard a training session is he’s always in a good humour afterwards. Fifteen rounds of sparring and a run this morning. He fishes some tuna from a lunch box and smears it on his brown bread.

Nothing better.

For Guillermo the Ghost, the choices narrowed and depression clocked him. There were to be no second chances. One moonless night in February 2009 he got into a speedboat and left the country he had brought so much joy to. He fetched up in Cancún in Mexico. It was Mexico but it was the real world. Complicated.

Rigondeaux had met Gary Hyde many years previously at the World Boxing Championships in Belfast of all places. They kept in touch. Hyde had visited Cuba.

In March, 2007 the two men apparently cut a deal with each other before the failed defection attempt. Now, after the speedboat journey, they were supposed to meet in Cancún but the connection never happened.

Rigondeaux kept going till he hit Miami, a home run for any Cuban defector. That melting pot of a town was soon bubbling with the rumours that he had arrived and was keen to fight.

And the rumours were true.

He made his pro debut under the management of a firm with German connections with whom he had allegedly signed, GSMG LTD and Marcus Concepcion, working closely with the Arena Boxing company. Gary Hyde sought an injunction. A judge denied him but froze the purse.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:22 PM   #30793
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GSMG and Concepcion produced a management contract dated May 2009. Hyde trumped it with his March 2007 contract. The others came back with a three-year contract from July 2006. It got silly and tacky. In December 2009 Gary Hyde finally won the battle.

Did he lose the war though? How Guillermo Rigondeaux feels about all this is a moot point. He has had his own legal punch, counterpunch with Gary Hyde expressing the feeling that Hyde was progressing his career too slowly. Hyde paired him briefly with the great Freddie Roach

in LA, who pronounced him a young version of Manny Pacquiao, but Rigondeaux split from the veteran and wound up via another detour with Ronnie Shields,

the Houston-based trainer of Evander Holyfield.

Whatever his reservations early on in his relationship with Hyde, things have accelerated. He fought Ricardo Cordoba on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito bout at Cowboys Stadium, Dallas late last year and became a world champion with scarcely a half a dozen fights to his name.

Back home, his partner Farah Colina still lives and works, raising their nine-year-old son with the help of his stepbrother who is nearly 20 and who was raised as Guillermo Rigondeaux’s own son. The dream is predictable. To be together.

Willy comes down the line in his family; middle of the brood which ranges in age from 12 to almost 40. They are all close and loyal to each other, but things being what they are, you wind up being closer to those your own age, those you play with and go to school with.

Just before Willie arrived, the Caseys were blessed with twins. Boys. In the clan, boys outnumber girls easily. One of the twins was called Paddy.

“Paddy! He’d be with ya one day, he’d fall out with you the next. He was a good man, he had a child, a lovely wife and when it was time he settled down. What can I say? After a year being married he died. That was about two years ago now. We miss him.

“I hope he’s watching and that I’m making him proud. I hope he realises the life he could have had, that he never had.”

And what took him away? Willie’s face contorts in sadness.

“Drugs. I saw it coming. I saw it a mile away. I told him. He got chances and he never took them. I know he’s looking down and he’s proud of me. I’m going to show the younger ones coming through that there is more out there than just drugs and gangs.”

They lost a sister a long time ago, before Willie’s memory began. Then they lost Paddy. Willie wears a tattoo over his heart in loving memory of Paddy. Now there are 15 boys and six girls left and the pride and the love almost cracks Willie’s voice.

“Looking after us all wasn’t easy. I love him today and my mother for everything they did. They brought us up well. They done a good job.”

Two men in a hurry. Last summer Willie won through as the outsider in a Sky Sports programme called Prizefighter. Three tough fights in one night, the last against a completely fresh boxer. It put him on the map.

By Christmas, he was European Super Bantam Champion. And now Guillermo Rigondeaux and Willie ’Big Bang’ Casey get ready to fight in two weeks’ time in the Citywest Hotel, a venue which could be a parable for so many things.

There is a documentary on the story of Rigondeaux called perfectly Hero, Traitor, Madness.

And there is the less-celebrated story of the man he fights and the place he comes from and will never defect from.

“Limerick gets a bad rap,” says Willie, pulling on his woolly hat. “There is so much good in Limerick.”

He lists the city’s sporting heroes and achievements and then says what he most wants for himself from this strange time before he goes back to real work.

“When I drop my own kids off to school, I hear them, the other kids. They say, there’s your Dad. That makes me want to achieve even more. I can see the expression on their faces.

How excited they are, somebody from here doing so good, being an example.”

Two lives. Two men. Two styles. Guillermo Rigondeaux the outside man, the most technical professional out there, perhaps. Willie Casey who’s best scrapping would be done going through a revolving door with you, so close does he like the encounter to be.

Two stories. Two fates crossing.

Who would swap lives with the other? Now? Late at night in two weeks’ time.

WBA World Title bout

Willie Big Bang’ Casey v Guillermo ‘El Chacal’ Rigondeaux

Saturday, Mar 19th, Citywest Event Centre, Saggart
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #30794
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brilliant read!!! the build up continues! i just can't wait for this fight
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:27 PM   #30795
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I'm going to assume that the fight will be on Setanta Sports 1 and not on Setanta Ireland. I got rid of Setanta on the TV but I get Setanta Ireland free with Eircom...not that that's going to be much help.
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