Boxing: Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan ready to rumble in Madison Square Garden

Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan

Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan wants to follow the path of Steve Collins and Andy Lee by booking a world-title shot Stateside with his next fight set for Madison Square Garden.

O’Sullivan, trained by Paschal Collins, brother of two-weight world champion Steve, will soon travel to Boston after agreeing a promotional deal with Ken Casey of Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys.

But it will be first stop New York as the Cork middleweight fights on a March 14 card, likely to be televised by NBC. While the Mahon native will continue to train under Collins in Dublin, he will head Stateside in the weeks prior to his fight where he is likely to be based in singer Casey’s home city of Boston.

‘Spike’ had been keen on following in Steve Collins’ footsteps by taking on Chris Eubank Jr, whose father Steve Collins Snr twice defeated, but has been unsuccessful in luring the Englishman into a showdown.

Collins famously made two unsuccessful world-title challenges on US soil, however, losing tight points decisions to Mike McCallum and Reggie Johnson, before using the experience gained there to claim titles at two weights.

“I just want to become champion of the world — maybe like the way Steve Collins did,” said the 30-year-old O’Sullivan.

“Chris Eubank now is fighting for an interim title, the plonker. Who knows what happens down the line? He could become world champion, or maybe me, and we could fight in the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“That would be unbelievable. The possibilities are endless now if all goes well with this move. To headline at Madison Square Garden is a dream come true. It doesn’t get much better.

“I’m like Andy Lee. He never ducked anybody and that’s how I do it too.”

O’Sullivan’s opponent for his March date is yet to be confirmed but seems likely to be a US-based fighter, currently in possession of two high-ranking titles, which should open the door to a world-title shot.

The Cork man now plans to build on his one-round demolition of Anthony Fitzgerald last November. “I’ve been frustrated in the gym since the Fitzgerald fight. None of the promoters would touch me; Frank Warren, Eddie Hearn, Mick Hennessy — they’ve all come back saying none of their fighters want to fight me. I’m absolutely delighted!”

Spike’s US deal with Casey also comes on the back of more good news for Paschal Collins’ Celtic Warrior Gym, as Prizefighter winner Jonno Carroll has been signed up by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom following success in the quick-fire tournament on Sky last month. The Meath-based Finglas lightweight is sidelined for a month with a bruised knuckle, but was yesterday due to sign terms on a 15-fight deal with Matchroom. Having upset the odds to win Prizefighter, Carroll is considering another raid on the bookies on the back of his new promotional deal.

“I’ll be world champion in three years,” he said. “I looked at the odds after wining Prizefighter and I was 7/1 [to become world champion] in three years and then after that it was 4/1. I know a few lads who had a bet on it so I’m probably going to go for it!”


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