The middleweight pair have long been linked, with O’Sullivan desperate to square-off with Eubank, son of the former two-weight world champion of the same name. And he will finally get his wish when they meet at London’s 02 Arena next month in a final eliminator for the WBA regular world title.
The duo came face to face for the first time at a press conference yesterday after years of back and forth on social media, but they were kept well apart by a large security presence. Eubank, too, refused to pose for the traditional head-to-head photos because Sullivan famously kissed Anthony Fitzgerald at their weigh-in last year.
But Spike is adamant the bad mouthing of Eubank, which his opponent described as ‘dark and disgusting’, was all part of the plan to land such a big fight on a pay- per-view show. He explained: “I’m getting the best purse of my career. I’ve got three daughters which are primarily the reason I fight. It’s a very hard game, in the gym, sparring with hard guys.
“It’s a tough, tough game and it takes a toll on your body. But I put myself through it all to provide for my three daughters. I’ve never been fortunate to experience the money he has had but that will all change in December. I will be like a man possessed in there. He will never have met a man so determined as me. I can put my hand on my heart and say that.
“I’m fighting for my children, for their future and I will win at all costs. There are harder fights out there where I would get less money and less publicity. That’s why I really wanted the fight with him — it’s a no brainer.
“I did give him a bit of abuse on Twitter but nothing that I thought was too bad or derogatory. I don’t have a big promoter like Eddie Hearn or a famous name like Eubank. I am just O’Sullivan from Cork and I have had to promote myself to get this fight. It’s a fight I’ve wanted for years and I’m delighted it’s here.
“I think the difference is what’s riding on it for me. I’m very tough but so is he. It is the desire, the light at the end of the tunnel, and who wants it more. I definitely want it more than he does and I believe I will be the one digging deepest.”
Eubank has accused O’Sullivan of being ‘obsessed’ with him in the past but, for Spike, there has been method to his madness. He added: “It’s not personal and that’s me being truthful. But he is an arrogant guy and I wouldn’t be inclined to go for a drink with him. But it’s not personal for me. He’s just the guy in the way
“I do think he’s scared of me. I think I intimidate him. His refusal to do the head-to-head and look me in the eye has compounded that. He says I’m going to kiss him? He’s too ugly, I wouldn’t kiss him.
” Of course, there are few happy memories for the Eubank family in Cork, following senior’s 1995 defeat to Steve Collins in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. O’Sullivan, trained by Steve’s brother Paschal, says that history will play on Eubank’s mind.
But Eubank, who has won 20 of his 21 fights, countered: “That’s crazy. The fight between my father and Steve Collins is irrelevant to this fight. He’s not Steve Collins and I’m not my father. It has no bearing on what’s going to happen on December 12.
“The situation has really dawned on him he is actually going to get into the ring with me and fight. He should be scared, he should be backtracking now, he has dug himself a huge hole.”