Anthony Cacace understands that there is no time to waste if he comes through this weekend’s tough British Super-Featherweight title defence against Lyon Woodstock.

The Belfast man’s ability has never been in doubt and in the past former training partner Carl Frampton has delivered only the highest praise.

Anto (18-1) admits that in the past he has just done enough in fights, but changed his outlook with a British title win against Sam Bowen at the end of 2019.

His first defence against Leicester’s Woodstock (12-2) was due to take place last summer, but Cacace was hospitalised after developing a serious infection after a mouth issue.

Victory on Saturday (February 27) at the Copper Box Arena, live on BT Sport, will help catapult him higher in the world rankings.

“I have had a stop-start career,” admitted the 32-year-old southpaw who is ranked number nine by the WBA whose champion is American ace, Gervonta Davies.

“In the past I have done the bare minimum in fights, but I have stepped it up and know what I have to do to progress.

“Carl tells me I hit harder than anyone he has shared the ring with. I am confident in my power and no one has seen it properly yet.”

The 130lb division is one of the hottest in boxing. Besides Davies, Oscar Valdez (WBC) and Jamel Herring (WBO) hold world titles and the IBF is currently vacant.

Cacace said: “I don’t think I am that far away from a world title fight. If not a world title, I would like to test myself against one of the division’s best after this fight.

“It would love to test myself against one of the champions. That would be the opportunity of a lifetime.

“Anyone on their day can produce the goods and I would love to be in that position.”

When Cacace outpointed Bowen 15 months ago, he was a slight underdog but is expected to be the bookies favourite on Saturday even though Woodstock rarely disappoints.

He added: “Maybe I will be the favourite, but I don’t see it that way. I know Lyon is a tough lad and he will be there.

“He has only lost to top domestic boxers and is rightly operating at that level. He just hasn’t quite got there yet.

“He is just there, loves a tear up. His style is to break opponents down. That plays into my hands.

Even if I did have to go looking for him it wouldn’t matter.

“There are no fans in the arena, but this is a great TV fight. That is why we picked Lyon as a voluntary defence. We knew it would be good for TV and my profile.”

Cacace vs Woodstock is live this Saturday night on BT Sport 1 HD at 7.30pm.

Also on the bill Kaisy Khademi (8-0) bids to double his belt tally by adding the vacant IBF European Super-Flyweight crown to his WBO European title against Birmingham’s Ijaz Ahmed (7-2).

In a special attraction Light-Heavyweight puncher Tommy Fury (4-0) is back in action.

Stoke’s popular Middleweight Nathan Heaney (10-0) takes on Manchester’s Ryan Oliver (7-2), and thrilling Lightweight prospect Sam Noakes (4-0) going in against the unbeaten Delmar Thomas (5-0).

Three professional debuts complete the card, with ABA champion Masood Abdulah in action at Super-Featherweight along with Super-Lightweight Amaar Akbar and Adan Mohamed who will box at Super-Bantamweight.

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