25 July 2012
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork Boxer Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan says that he is delighted to have been invited out onto the pitch at Cork’s Turners Cross Stadium before the exhibition match between Cork City and Manchester United kicks off this evening, to give the capacity crowd a look at the WBO International Middleweight belt that he won in London earlier this month.
Spike said today “I’ve been a big supporter of Cork City my whole life and they’ve always been very supportive of me too, inviting me here whenever I’ve won a belt – and to be asked here before such a big game is just great. I can’t wait to get out there on the pitch.”
Since arriving back home in Cork with the new WBO belt life has been hectic for the man from Mahon: “After taking the fight at just a couple of week’s notice I had to go through the toughest training camp of my life – and then maybe because of how hard I’d been training I got ill just before the fight itself and ended up getting into the ring with a chest infection and viral conjunctivitis in both eyes. It’s a good job I won or else it would sound like I’m making excuses!”
“It’s really only just starting to sink in that I actually won the title. People have been amazingly supportive. I’ve had hundreds of messages congratulating me, people have been coming up to me to shake my hand the whole time – and I’ve done more interviews this last fortnight than I’ve done in my life. I saw today that we’ve had 70,000 people from all around the world checking out what I’ve been posting on my Facebook in the last 7 days.”
“It’s nearly time for me to sit down with my team and start planning my first title defence, but before that we’re going to close things off with an official homecoming at Mahon Community Centre on Friday August 3rd at 5:30pm. Anybody listening to my interviews this last week will know that it’s always been a dream of mine to defend my title in Cork, and if we’re going to do that we need a good crowd there to show people everywhere that in this country people turn out for boxing and I’ve no doubt that they will.”
O’Sullivan also holds the Irish BUI Middleweight and American ABO Light-Middleweight titles, and has to defend his WBO International Middleweight belt within 120 days.