NEW YORK (September 28, 2011) – Buffalo welterweight Nick “Hands of Gold” Casal continues his journey back to boxing prominence October 15 against undefeated prospect Michael “Slick” Anderson on the non-televised portion of the Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson pay-per-view event at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Casal (21-4-1, 16 KOs) was a highly-decorated amateur who captured gold medals at the 2002 U.S. National Junior Championships and the Sweden Box-Cup for Under-19 boxers. In 2003, Nick reached the quarterfinals of the National Golden Gloves Tournament, defeating Anthony Dirrell in the process, before losing to current world champion, Andre Berto. Casal also won a bronze medal at the 2004 U.S. Championships but he had to drop out of the competition with a hand injury.
In 2004, Casal turned pro and he was unbeaten in his first 17 pro bouts, including a pair of draws. Nick extended current WBC Silver champion Antonio “Tony” DeMarco, the former WBC Interim light titlist, the full 10 rounds in 2002, albeit in a losing effort (94-96, 93-93, 97-93) that demonstrated his vast potential. Casal has won his last three fights, including a third-round technical knockout of Martin Tucker this past April in his Boxing 360 debut.
Casal, however, damaged his hand and he has been out of action since. His fight against Andersson was supposed to be September 30 on ShoBox, before being switched to Oct. 15. “Fighting on ShoBox would have given me more exposure but the Hopkins-Dawson show is much bigger with a larger audience,” said Casal who is training in Las Vegas. “I hurt my hand a little bit in my last fight but it’s now 100-percent.”
The 30-year-old Anderson (11-0-1, 9 KOs), fighting out of Newark, hasn’t fought anybody near Casal’s level of competition. If Anderson believes he’s going to use Casal as a stepping-stone, according to Nick, he’s got another thing coming. “I’m going to use him as a stepping-stone,”Casal insisted. “He has no experience and I’m coming for a win. I don’t know anything about him but, after the first round, I’ll know what to do.
“In another year, I hope to be fighting for a world title. I beat both Dirrells (Andre and Anthony), Berto and Vanes Martirosyan in the amateurs. I fought at 156 as an amateur and moved down to fight at 140 as a pro. Some of them went up in weight and won world titles. I just need a couple of more fights to be ready for a world title shot. I turned pro when I was 18 – maybe a little early – but I’m only 25 with a lot of fights left in me. I had a lot of growing up to do and now’s the time to make something happen.”
Casal’s promoter, Boxing 360 founder and CEO Mario Yagobi, believes his upcoming fight is a tremendous opportunity for Nick. “Nick has to step-up and, if he passes this test, it’s on to bigger and better things for him. This is a great opportunity. I think he’s up to it. In the past he has won better challenges in bigger fights. I believe he has the talent and heart to take him to the top. He made the commitment to train in Las Vegas, away from his home in Buffalo, in order to get better sparring. He’s working hard and I know he’ll be ready October 15th.”
Casal’s talented Boxing 360 stable-mate, undefeated middleweight prospect DonYil Livingston (5-0-1, 3 KOs), will also be in action on the Oct. 15thHopkins-Dawson undercard against unbeaten Kurtiss Colvin (6-0, 5 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV