Coach Collins explains reasoning behind choice of comeback opponent for Spike O’Sullivan


Spike O’Sullivan‘s comeback opponent was confirmed yesterday evening and the news was met with a mixed reaction.

The Cork fighter returns to the ring on Friday [December 7th] night at the Royal Theatre in Castlebar where he will face Hungarian journeyman Gabor Gorbics [26(16)-13(5)] over eight rounds.

The fight is O’Sullivan’s first following his first-round WBA middleweight world title final eliminator defeat to David Lemiuex in September and his first fight on the way down to the light middleweight division.

While Gorbics has brought some good names the distance – and has never been stopped before four rounds – some were slightly disappointed with the opponent.

Known as one of the more durable Hungarian journeymen, the Magyar has never won on the road and most view Gorbics as a yardstick for O’Sullivan rather than a dangerous foe – although the old adage of one punch changing a fight still remains.

A big step down for O’Sullivan [28(20)-3(2)] was always expected – although it was though that a tough – and infinitely more marketable – Hispanic fighter would be brought in for the fight which will be shown live on TG4.

The Mahon man’s manager and trainer, however, has come out to explain that this was not a possibility.

Paschal Collins has claimed that, due to O’Sullivan’s sky-rocketing profile, many opponents have priced themselves out of the fight on the Assassin Promotions bill and that Gorbics was the best available option within the budget.

The Celtic Warrors boss, in anticipation of criticism, outlined:

“Before all the couch experts begin with their negative comments: since Spike boxed on the cig bards on HBO in the U.S.m every opponent we approached wanted crazy money!”

“So, taking into account that this is a small show with a small budget, there was a limited number of guys left.”

It will be a busy night for Collins who will also be cornering headliner Ray Moylette in a WBC International lightweight title fight as well as Craig O’Brien on the undercard – with more Celtic Warriors fighters in Owen Duffy and Niall O’Connor also featuring.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie