Cuban duo face tough tests

CUBAN pair Alexei Acosta and Luis Garcia, will enjoy star billing at tonight’s boxing/dinner show in the Silversprings Hotel in Cork but the Irish pair of Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan from across the river in Mahon and Jamie Power from Limerick are sure to claim their share of the limelight.

For Spike, it is another stepping stone to greater things but for the 28-year-old Limerick light heavyweight — who won a national intermediate title at super-heavy — it is another opportunity to entertain.

On his last visit to the Silversprings where all the other contests ended prematurely, Power stole the show with one of his typical gritty performances against Martins Kulkus in an action-packed contest that went all of the six rounds.

Power was unbeaten going into that particular fight and he came out with his record intact having gone up in everyone’s estimation.

His trainer, Ken Moore, predicts more of the same tonight when he meets Vladimir Idranyi from Slovakia.

“I don’t make any predictions or any plans — I like to leave those decisions to my manager — but I like a good fight,” Power said at yesterday’s weigh-in.

As for those plans, Ken Moore said the ultimate target would be a shot at the Irish light heavyweight title.

“Jim Rock holds it at the moment. It would be the ideal target for Jamie and there are a few guys around who would make a good fight of it,” said Moore.

Spike O’Sullivan has a lot going for him. His manager/trainer is Paschal Collins — brother of the former undefeated WBO world super-middleweight champion Steve Collins — and that fact alone opens many doors for the 24-year-old Cork light middleweight.

Paschal Collins, himself, has boxed in the US and he made a huge breakthrough onto the global scene when he masterminded Kevin McBride’s defeat of Mike Tyson.

Spike has already made a couple of highly productive trips to Boston, including his most recent outing prior to St Patrick’s Day, and his reputation is growing. He has seven wins from his seven professional fights to date and only one of those bouts has gone the distance. Tonight he meets Romanian southpaw, Gheorghe Danut.

“I am not looking beyond this fight but I am really excited about what lies ahead for me in the coming year,” he said.

“The plan is to have a couple of fights between now and the summer before I take a month out to rest the body, and then the intention is to start back training in August before heading to a training camp in America to prepare for a big title fight in Cork in late September.”

Tonight’s show is Gary Hyde’s sixth promotion — his last one was in Newcastle — and all of the productions were built around his sensational Cubans.

Heavyweight Mike “The Rebel” Perez is sidelined with a dislocated shoulder that will keep him out of action until September.

But Luis Garcia and Alexei Acosta will share the limelight. Acosta, now fully recovered from a hand injury, will top the bill against 27-year-old Argentinean super-bantamweight, Sergio Victor Caruso, who twice went the distance with Cristian Faccio, the Uruguayan former world title challenger who gave Bernard Dunne a hard time of it in Castlebar last November.

Garcia, a super-middleweight from Matanzas who has only been taken the distance once in his four fights, meets another Argentinean, Nestor Fabian Casanova, a 34-year-old who is a former South American champion.

Meanwhile, if Martin Lindsay can beat Paul Appleby for the British featherweight title at the Ulster Hall tonight he could find himself fighting for a world title before the end of the year.

Appleby, a 21-year-old from Edinburgh, is a rare talent and this should be a thriller between two unbeaten fighters.

Dublin promoter, Tommy Egan, has links Philadelphia Banner Promotions. Cristobal Cruz is a member of that particular stable and the Mexican has agreed in principle to put his title on the line against tonight’s winner.

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