Hearn: Spike turned down Prizefighter three times
By Jonny Stapleton
Eddie Hearn says he gave Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan three opportunities to compete in last weekend’s All Irish Prizefigher, only for the Cork stars promoter to rebuff the advances.
O’Sullivan ’s trainer Pascal Collins and indeed his brother, former world champion Steve Collins bemoaned the fact the Irish champion wasn’t asked to compete in the career changing tournament.
They also requested a fight with O’Kane after he raised the prestigious trophy, but Hearn is not willing to reward the Cork native with a bout because he wasn’t willing to risk his unbeaten status by entering the tournament.
The Matchroom boss revealed he spoke three times to O’Sullivan’s promoter Frank Warren right hand man Dean Powell about having the undefeated prospect in the Belfast hosted tournament.
Indeed Hearn revealed ‘Spike’ was his second fighter he contacted about going to war in the all action competition.
“Spike O’Sullivan was onto us and Pascal was giving us hassle today. As far as I am concerned we gave him three chances to compete in this event and they turned everyone of them down,” Hearn said after O’Kane’s exciting win.
“Now they want to fight Eamonn in an eliminator for the Irish title (O‘Sullivan is reigning Irish Champ). I think we are at another level now. Pascal approached me after the Eamonn won the tournament and said as much. I phoned Steve Collins immediately after I saw him on Sky Sports News when he said that he was disappointed that Spike O’Sullivan was invited. He was invited on three different occasions. Once he considered it when Anthony Fitzgerald fighting for a world title. First time he was the second person I invited after him (Eamonn O’Kane). He is the Irish champion I am going to want him in the Irish Prizefighter. Again when Mark Hefferon pulled out he turned it down. We spoke to Dean Powell (Frank Warren’s match maker) and they didn’t want it. I told Steve that and he apologised for saying it. He was disappointed the promotional team didn’t tell him. If he doesn’t want to compete in this tournament don’t expect to get a shot with the Prizefighter champion after it. It is a fight that could happen down the line and it’s a good fight. For Eamonn now its about building him and letting him learn over longer distance.”