Introducing: ‘The Vanilla Gorilla’ Dee Sullivan

One of two debutants this Friday night, Dee Sullivan is ready to begin an exciting journey.

The Belfast cruiserweight starts his pro career on the #MTKFightNight at the Ulster Hall and the popular big man is set to entertain.

Entering the paid game with a solid amateur background, Sullivan has made the switch having found himself down the pecking order with the IABA.

There are elements of ‘what if?’ surrounding the Ulster Senior champion.

Narrowly edged out in the 2017 Irish Elite semi-finals at super heavyweight by eventual champ Martin Keenan, Sullivan underwent a stunning transformation to get down to heavyweight but, after a good showing at the Commonwealth Games, missed out on the Seniors this year – seen by most as the first step towards the Tokyo Olympics.

Sullivan explained to how “I missed the [2019] Ulsters because I wanted to avoid injury as I believed I had a great chance of winning the Irish Elites.”

“I was after coming off a great win, beating the German number one out in Germany in November. My team also believed this, we wanted to avoid injury or cuts.”

“So, I had all my eggs in one basket then my granny died a week before them which was a big wrench into the motor, my head was all over the place.”

“So, there was really nowhere for me to go as you have about three guys down there who are the main men, rightly so, they earned there place and I didn’t.

With “nowhere to go”, Sullivan has gone into the pros, the Emerald big man linking up with MTK Global and he debuts on Friday on the Ryan Burnett comeback card versus game and tricky Pole Pawel Strykowski.

A no-frills fighter – although one with underrated skills – Sullivan looks a great addition to a growing cruiserweight scene.

‘The Vanilla Gorilla’ describes how “I am a come-forward fighter with a good engine for a big fella.”

“I like picking shots also, I have good legs so can switch it up.”

“ill always try my best and you can expect me to give my all on Friday night, I am hoping to get the win and put together a great performance.”

A ‘fight anyone’ sort of guy, there are no early call-outs from Sullivan who is keen to build quickly and be in memorable fights.

“I always say I am not in competition with anyone else but myself.”

“I want to be kept busy and get better and better and you just never know what the future could hold in this game.”

“One day you could be fighting someone in your back garden and next you could be fighting a big name in theirs.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@thefIrish)


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: