Paschal Collins has warned Jaime Munguia and the fight fans not to judge Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan off his knockout defeat to David Lemieux.
After talking his way into a big fight with the Canadian banger the Murphys Boxing fighter, a puncher himself, was stopped in the first round when they meet last year.
The popular Mahon man was caught with a left hook and dropped for the first time in his career. He couldn’t quite recover in time and the high profile fight was stopped just 164 seconds in.
It was a blow for ‘Spike’ considering he had talked his way into the clash – and a stoppage Golden Boys Eric Gomez felt may the defining moment of the Celtic Warrior Gym fighter’s career.
Collins is adamant that isn’t or shouldn’t be the case.
The veteran trainer points out anyone getting caught by a puncher, especially one 20lbs heavier will hit the canvas.
“Eric Gomez spoke to me a year ago and he said, you know, Spike came off a loss with David Lemieux in Vegas and a lot of people with judge Spike’s career on that last but they shouldn’t because anyone who knows boxing, anyone who was a fighter, you can get caught against a guy who’s 20 pounds heavier than you, and you will go down,” Collins said at the press conference to officially announce the DAZN broadcast match up before revealing Gomez kept the faith and his word.
“I spoke to Eric not long after that and he said, Spike will be back in there again and two fights later, he kept his word. “
That stoppage defeat and the size difference on the night finally convinced ‘Spike’ that his future was at light middleweight, something Collins had always pushed for over the years.
The drop to 154lbs seemed to have suited a rejuvenated and admittedly more dedicated now 35-year-old.
Upon dropping down there was talk of a possible fight with Dennis Hogan if he managed to dethrone then WBO 154lbs king Munguia in April, but when the Kildare fighter wasn’t given the decision, the Mexican was straight onto Team O’Sullivan’s radar.
“We’ve been watching Jaime Munguia closely for the last while because Spike did after the Lemieux fight decided to move back down to light middleweight and the target we would be looking for would be Jaime Munguia.
“The fact that he was with Golden Boy, that fight would be easy to make, and then he fights Denis Hogan who is a friend of ours. Denis pushed him close and if the fight wasn’t in Mexico, if Jaime wasn’t the champ, maybe Denis would have gotten the decision that night.”
The Alamodome hosted January fight is at middle, as Munguia finally moves up, but Collins and co revealed they have been studying the undefeated 22-year-old.
Craig O’Brien and Ray Moylette’s coach believes he have seen weaknesses and points out Hogan, who challenges for the WBC middleweight world title in Brooklyn on December 7, showed the Tijuana fighter has exploitable weaknesess.
“What it did do was it showed some flaws in in Jaime Munguia. I’m not going to sit here and trash talk because he’s a young fighter, for a guy his age to have so many fights at war level, it’s mind boggling.
“What Jaime shows me is that he’s strong, he’s very fit when he fights, he comes for it and loves a tear up. For a trainer, it makes it easier to come up with tactics to fight someone like Jaime,” he added before cleverly playing the Irish card in a Mexican American hotbed.
“I’m looking forward to Spike fighting in San Antonio. We’ve got a great connection. Irish people have a great connection with the Alamo. I think a quarter of the Texans who have fought were of Irish decent, so it’s like a homecoming for Spike too. Thank you DAZN, and thanks to the people. I’ll get Spike ready to put on a good show.”