Wednesday 26 June 2019

Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan returns to winning ways in Castlebar but was made to go the distance

Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan, right, and Gabor Gorbics during their middleweight contest at The Royal Theatre in Castlebar, Mayo. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan, right, and Gabor Gorbics during their middleweight contest at The Royal Theatre in Castlebar, Mayo. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick in Castlebar

Cork's Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan re-launched his pro boxing career tonight in Castlebar when he defeated Hungarian journeyman Gabor Gorbics in a eight round contest in the super welterweight division. Though he achieved a shut out 80-72 victory the Cork native will be disappointed that he didn't end the contest within regulation time.

O'Sullivan's bid to challenge for a World middleweight title ran aground in Las Vegas in October when he got caught by a body punch in the first round by Canadian rival David Lemieux. However, the 34-year old still believes he can bring a world belt back to his native Mahon – but in a different weight division.

Having begun his professional career in the super welterweight division – he won a US pro title in the category in 2009 – he dropped back to his new weight last night and comfortably survived the albeit limited challenge offered by Gorbics, who had only won three of his last 11 fights.

Before a near sell-out attendance in the Theatre Royal, O'Sullivan dominated the ring and worked his jab effectively and used his right hook to punish the Hungarian in the first round. The challenger stepped up his work rate in the second and caught O'Sullivan more than once.

O'Sullivan worked his jab better in the third and the Hungarian was on the defensive in the latter half of the round when he starting catching his opponent repeatedly with his right hooks to the body.

By now the fight had developed a set pattern with Gorbics coming out and doing his best work in the opening sixty seconds and Spike seem content to get valuable ring time under his belt after the premature end to his last contest.

It was O'Sullivan, however, who was the more aggressive fighter at the start of the fifth stanza as he upped his work rate. The Hurgarian's work rate dropped but he was still catching his Irishman. At times during the six the favourite at times seemed poised to overwhelm Gorbics but despite the latter's poor record he was nothing if not durable.

But in the closing couple of rounds O'Sullivan was clearly on top and he made a valiant effort to end the contest in the final round before never managed to off-load the knock out punch and the Hungarian survived as O'Sullivan chalked up the 29th win in his pro career.

Elsewhere on the show Dubliner Craig O'Brien, who lost his unbeaten record in his last fight against England's Anthony Fowler, got back to winning ways in a light middleweight clash against Almin Kovacevic from Croatia with the referee stopping the contest in the second round.

Roy Sheahan, the Irish winner of the Last Man Standing tournament on TG4 earlier this year, maintained his unbeaten record in the pro game with a third round stoppage win over a Romanian opponent.

Twenty-four year old Dylan Moran won a six round welterweight contest (60-54) against a Barcelona based Nicaraguan opponent Nelson Atlamirano who despite having lost 20 of his 10 pro fights proved by far the most durable boxer on view deservingly went the distance. The Dubliner now moves to 8-0 but he remember this contest for a long time.

Earlier in a series of one-sided bouts there were wins inside the distance for cruiserweight John Corcoran and super featherweight Niall O'Connor and Cavan light middleweight Owen Duffy against poor quality over seas journeymen and while heavyweight Paddy Nevin went the distance he totally dominated the four round contest.

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