Friday 19 January 2018

Boxing: Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan at ease over defence

Carl Frampton
Carl Frampton

Eamon Carr

AT HIS sparring partner Eamonn O’Kane’s victorious Irish middleweight title fight with Anthony Fitzgerald in Dundalk last week, Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (16-0, 10 KOs) was in a relaxed mood, prompting some people to speculate that maybe he wasn’t in demolition mode ahead of his WBO world middleweight title defence tonight against Billy Joe Saunders (17 -0, 10 KOs).

But the Cork fighter, described by his coach Paschal Collins as “one horrible b*****d in the ring”, is determined to get the former Beijing Olympian out of his way as he moves up the world rankings.

“We need this scalp,” says Collins. “Billy Joe is real class, but we’re confident Spike can nail him.”

The new Irish middleweight champion, O’Kane said: “Spike is going to do a good job. He’s been training very hard and, by f**k, can he punch. He’s got a very professional team around him. Spike O’Sullivan is moving on to bigger and better things.”

Collins’ Celtic Tiger Gym is going great guns at present. Also in the camp is Dublin middleweight Luke Keeler, who looks to have the potential to claim that Irish title.


Carl’s ear a real pain

IT HASN’T been a good week for Carl Frampton and manager Barry McGuigan.

Having split from Eddie Hearne’s Matchroom, Frampton was ready to defend his IBF inter-continental superbantamweight belt in his first BoxNation bout for promoter Frank Warren tonight at Wembley, only to be ruled out by the British Boxing Board of Control due to an ear injury picked up in sparring.

To compound Team Jackal’s discomfort, rival Scott Quigg, who was signed by Hearne following Frampton’s departure, has just been announced as a contender against Cuba’s Yoandris Salinas for the vacant WBA world super bantamweight title.

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