'Spike didn't quit, I pulled him out to protect him - his eardrum burst'
A busted eardrum injury may have led to Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan retiring on his stool against Chris Eubank Jr in a world title eliminator in London on Saturday night.
The Cork middleweight's chief seconds Paschal Collins retired his man in the interval between the seventh and eighth rounds at the O2 Arena.
Eubank, who is now in line for a shot at WBA champion Daniel Jacobs, was 69-64, 69-64, 70-62 ahead.
O'Sullivan said after the fight that he thought that at least one of his eardrums was busted, and Collins made no apologies for protecting his man.
"Spike didn't quit, I pulled him out. If you want to blame me, blame me, I don't care. I'm going to protect him. He's my friend not just my fighter and I'll take care of him like my own brother," said Collins.
"He told me he thinks his ear drum is burst. It just got to the stage where Spike looked off balance.
"There is no point in letting a fighter get hurt in there. I hear Chris is going to fight Nick Blackwell for a British title. So maybe we can still fight Daniel Jacobs for a world title, who knows?"
O'Sullivan admitted that he underestimated Eubank.
"I underestimated him for sure. He's sharp, he's a good fighter. My ear drum was busted, possibly both of them. But that's no excuse, the better man won in there tonight," he said.
Meanwhile, Dean Walsh and Ray Moylette expressed contrasting views as to who won the second round of their controversial Elite 64kg final at the National Stadium.
Walsh edged a split decision to stake a claim for inclusion on the Irish team for April's Olympic qualifiers in Turkey.
He said: "He nicked the first, I nicked the second, and after I won the third I thought I might have done just enough to nick it."
But Moylette insisted: "The first round was close but I did enough to steal it. I won the second round easy. The last round, I did enough to steal it."
Anthony Joshua will seek a rematch with Dillian Whyte knowing his old amateur rival is among the few opponents who can prepare him for an eventual world title shot.
Joshua added the vacant British heavyweight belt to his Commonwealth crown with a seventh-round stoppage at The O2, initially staggering Whyte with a looping right before ending the contest with a savage uppercut off the same hand.
It was the first time the 2012 Olympic champion had been taken beyond three rounds and he took several heavy shots including a big left hook in the second that offered a genuine test of his chin.
Whyte, who won their only previous meeting as amateurs in 2009 and branded Joshua a "scumbag" and "fake" in the build-up, made him dig deep for his 15th victory in a bad tempered clash that could be restaged at the same venue on August 9.
"I'll definitely fight him again because he can provide me with what I need to progress, which is tough rounds," said Joshua, who admitted he is not ready to face WBA and WBO champion Tyson Fury.
"Kevin Johnson and Denis Bakhtov were supposed to give me rounds, but it was Whyte who actually did it, so why not use him again?"