WORLD title boxing will come to Sunderland next month when Ireland’s Willie Casey takes on Nottingham’s Jason Booth for the interim WBA and European super-bantamweight belts.
The title fight will top the bill of Sunderland promoter Phil Jeffries’ Summer Rumble 2 at the Stadium of Light on July 15.
And Jeffries himself is delighted to land the contest just 24 hours after losing his headline event when West Rainton’s Martin Ward was forced to pull out of his fight with Liverpool’s Mike Robinson for the vacant English bantamweight title.
Ward damaged his hand in training this week, forcing him to make the heartbreaking decision to withdraw from what would have been the first title fight of the 24-year-old’s professional career.
It was a huge disappointment to Ward, but also to Jeffries, who had made the title fight top of the bill in what will be a massive professional show.
But, out of the blue, Jeffries has been given and taken up the opportunity to stage a world title fight with Willie “Big Bang” Casey ready to fight Jason “Too Smooth” Booth for title glory.
Phil told the Echo: “Casey and Booth’s title fight was due to go ahead elsewhere, but the staging of the show fell through at the last minute and with them having heard of Summer Rumble 2, they rang up to see if we could put them on our show.
“We’re absolutely delighted to do that.
“It will be a perfect finale to what will be a fantastic day’s professional boxing and having lost Martin’s challenge for the English bantamweight title, it’s great that we stage a fight for a WBA and European title.”
Tough-guy Booth will be familiar to North East fight fans.
The 34-year-old beat Michael Hunter at the Seaburn Centre in 2009 in what was a successful defence of the English super-bantamweight title and lost a tilt at the IBF title when he was on the wrong side of a points decision against Canadian Steve Molitor at Rainton Meadows Arena last year.
Casey, 30, will be making his first appearance in the North East, having previously only fought in London in this country.
He is best known in England for winning Sky’s Prizefighter tournament, though is also the current holder of the European super-bantamweight belt, while the vacant interim WBA title will be up for grabs next month.
Jeffries said: “People know Jason Booth is a boxer who gives everything in the ring, while Casey is an explosive fighter whose fights often finish early, so it’s going to be a really good contest.
“It’s sad to have lost Martin’s fight and we’ll look to get him boxing again in the Autumn.
“But Casey-Booth is going to be a great battle and on top of that, we’ve got well over a dozen fights featuring local boxers.”
Tickets for Summer Rumble 2 are still available and anyone who wants more information or tickets should contact the organisers on 0774 7611 020.