6 July 2010 – Steve Wellings
Talk of a clash between two Irish champions has been intensifying recently, with the possibility of Gary Spike OSullivan (middleweight holder) and Anthony Fitzgerald (super-middleweight king) locking horns in the future.
With press releases and internet-chatter flying back and forth, Irish-boxing.com attempted to get to the bottom of things to see what the key men from both camps have to say on the matter.
Dolphil Promotions August 7 show at the Citywest in Dublin is drawing near and team Dolphil struck the first blow in Cork recently when Anthony The Pride Fitzgerald called out OSullivan in front of the TV cameras and journalists.
Boxers have a duty to give fans the fights they want, fans who read about a champion shunning challenges or a manager applying cotton wool to his fighters are only going to lose respect for the sport, stated a Dolphil spokeperson, claiming that Spike had reneged on his word after initially agreeing to the fight.
OSullivans manager/trainer Paschal Collins has since responded, to this website, saying, I am not wrapping Spike or any other fighter in cotton wool. How can they [Dolphil] make these statements when both fighters title fights were against the same opponent in Ciaran Healy.
Collins was philosophical about the press release and saw logic in a potential matchup, had Gary not recently signed with Frank Warrens promotional outfit.
I didnt know that the Cork confrontation was going to happen and to be honest, Fitzgerald and Spike would have been a good fight. Its good that they see a fight with OSullivan as their step-up in class.
Gary OSullivan has signed a promotional contract with Frank Warren and is due to fight on September 4 in Glasgow, continued Paschal. He did accept a fight with Anthony Fitzgerald in Cork after his last fight [won tko3 over Sylvain Touzet] and he hasnt changed his mind, he would have no problem fighting Fitzgerald, especially considering the last time they sparred at my gym Spike dropped Fitzgerald.
Anthony Fitzgerald, meanwhile, had to contend with opponent Lee Murtagh pulling out twice when they were scheduled to contest the super-middleweight crown earlier this year and Anthony is just itching to stay busy and test himself.
I just want to get on with things and have a few fights, he admitted, because Ive only had one fight this year and that was in February [the title winning effort over Ciaran Healy]. There arent too many shows getting put on this year and I dont mind what comes next I just want to keep my options open and keep moving upwards and winning bouts.
The press and all were there in Cork when I called Spike out, Fitzgerald added. Hes naturally a light-middleweight and Im naturally a middleweight so that title is waiting for me I want it.
Paschal Collins also commented that as Spikes manager he would make the decisions on his next move, taking into account the biggest paydays on offer and plotting the safest route to a major title. His brother Steve, a former WBO super-middleweight champion no less, has also been helping out recently. A further interesting development lies in the fact that Gary OSullivans mother is actually from England, which potentially opens up the Commonwealth title path.
That was something I didnt know of until our meeting with Frank, so the possibility of him taking out a British license is there for us, said Paschal.
That could lead to a Commonwealth fight and European ranking which in turn leads to a world rating. Spike is still a bit green but Frank Warren likes what he has seen from DVDs we showed to him. If Dolphil want to take big risks with their fighters well good luck to them and I wish them all the best. I know as promoters they will say and do anything to get these two fighters together.
So it appears for now that the two will go their separate ways, with Fitzgerald having the final word: A rematch with Ciaran Healy is a possibility but Ciaran said he is going back down to light-middleweight and not coming back up in weight.
I think Ill now be boxing a guy from Belfast on August 7 but I would like the Gary OSullivan fight to come off at some point.
On the rest of the Citywest bill, Prizefighter champion Willie Casey makes his eagerly awaited return to Dublin, as does newly-crowned light-heavyweight kingpin John Waldron. Michael Sweeney, JJ McDonagh, Darren Cruise, Gavin Prunty, Alan Donnellan, Finbarr Eade and Christina McMahon are all set to battle it out on the Dolphil Promotions show.
Tickets priced from 40 are on sale now from ticketgroup.ie or dolphilboxing.com.