02 December 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
Just days ahead of Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan’s Irish title clash with Ciaran Healy at Cork’s Neptune Stadium, Nancy Spain’s bar on Barrack St has become the official supporters base for fight fans.
According to Spikes manager and trainer, Paschal Collins, this occurred after one of the strangest days in his life.
“I received a last-minute phone call from our main sponsor telling me that his premises was flooded and that his insurance wont pay out so he would have to withdraw his sponsorship, leaving me with no choice but to cancel the show,” he said.
“Then came the hard bit of telling the fighters there was no card. As a former fighter, I know what the feeling is like when a fight falls through, but when its a title fight and on the same week, its a double blow.
“After I gave Spike the news I was surprised at how mature he was about it. He understood it wasnt my fault and took it on the chin like a man. After spending a couple of hours on the phone canceling everything it was almost midnight.
“I was exhausted and heading to bed when I received a phone call from Spikes brother Nyle telling me that his boss, the owner of Nancy Spains Bar, would put the money up.
“I paused for a moment before answering because I had just cancelled the whole show. As a former professional boxer, I have that never-say-die gene and off I went at midnight trying my best to put everything back on.
“Im delighted for Spike as I have never seen anybody prepare for a fight like he has for this one.
“I would also like to thank The Boxing Union of Ireland for their understanding, Paddy Hyland for his help with gloves and everybody that helped along the way – but most of all to Nyle OSullivan and Nancy Spains.”