And the weekend of February 23 is now being targeted for the rescheduled bout as O’Sullivan defends his WBO international middleweight title against the London-based Zimbabwean, Farai Musiyiwa.
“We’re hoping to confirm the date by the weekend,” Mike O’Regan, promoter of the ‘Rebel Rising’ event, said last night.
This Saturday was due to herald O’Sullivan’s homecoming on Leeside, topping the bill on a night of big-night boxing at Neptune Stadium.
However O’Sullivan, who is coached by Paschal Collins, suffered a rib injury in a sparring session last week and it has worsened since then.
“I took a blow to the ribs in sparring last week and it just isn’t healed,” said O’Sullivan, ranked number five in the world by the WBO.
“I need to rest them for a couple of weeks. I’d hoped to fight on anyway but I’m being told that it just isn’t possible. I’m gutted obviously, but I’ll be ready to go in a few weeks.”
O’Regan revealed that close to 1,000 tickets for the fight at Neptune Stadium have already been sold.
“Those tickets will still be valid for the February fight,” said O’Regan, while anyone wishing to return tickets can do so.
Tickets for the new date will still be available from the same outlets, including online at www.ticketgroup.ie and from Xtra-vision outlets nationwide.
Among those due to join O’Sullivan on the impressive Rebel Rising bill was Dubliner Oisín Fagan, fighting for the WBF World Lightweight title, and Galway super-middleweight Alan Donnellan in his first fight in Ireland in two years.
Another Dubliner, Luke Keeler, was also due to make his professional debut.
Promoter O’Regan said: “We were very confident that this was going to be a sell-out on Saturday so I’m very disappointed, obviously for myself but I’m even more disappointed for the fighters. They’ve been training for this date so it’s very tough on them.”