Gary Spike O'Sullivan

Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan

Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan (21-1-0) doesn't spend much time around Britain these days, so I'm lucky to have caught him.  He's back in Dublin helping Frank Buglioni prepare for his world title shot against Fedor Chudinov on 24th July, at the training camp of Pascal Collins.  "Frank - honest truth, he's genuinely looking the best he ever has.  We're working him hard in sparring and he has to finish session with me, the hardest."  Spike is a born and bred Irishman, raised in Cork and with an accent that reminds you why the Irish are so loved.  He's light hearted and warm, but that side of him got tested in November 2014 when he fought fellow Irishman Anthony Fitzgerald.  
 
A war of words started between the two of them on social media.  "It did get personal" Spike, 30, tells me.  "It never normally does for me, but he's a Dublin boy and he had been going around winding me up on social media and in the papers.  So yeah, I loved the opportunity to straighten him up."
 
Straighten him up is one way of putting it.  The fight was over with just over a minute on the clock.  Spike had approached from the off tearing into his opponent, showing disdain for what was going to be thrown back.  Arms by his side, chin up in the air - at one point Spike even mocked his opponent by tapping his gloves behing his own back, as if to taunt and goad his foe.  It was a message.  "I wanted to embarass him, show him no respect.  He prides himself on being the pride of Dublin.  Fuck him, I wanted to really embarrass him in his hometown.  I had money one me getting a first round knockout - enough to buy everyone a drink after at his expense!"
 
Ah, the old Irish spirit coming out in Spike!  He prides himself on his home country, often having the shamrock shaved into the back of his hair ("I have the best barber in the world, he's based in Cork and he's a whizz").  But recently Spike has signed a promotional deal with Ken Casey, of the punk band Dropkick Murphys.  This deal has seen him fight his last 3 fights since the Fitzgerald knockout in the USA.  Is this a permanent shift of time zones?
 
"I signed with Ken Casey because he loves his sport.  He wanted to do promoting and they have a fan base that I can tap into as well.  Ken's in it for the love of the sport, not the money.  And with Ken he has relationships and gets on well with Oscar De La Hoya (Head of Golden Boy Promotions) and Al Haymon (American super Advisor), so he can open doors for me.  It's great being with him."
 
That future may be starting with a trip back to his past.  The sole loss on O'Sullivan's professional record is against Billy Joe Saunders.  Saunders is chasing his own title dreams, and will be taking on Andy Lee in September for the WBO middleweight title.  Follow O'Sullivan on Twitter and you will see plenty of chat between himself and Saunders - all of it good hearted and a lot of it aimed at one individual (we will come on to him later!!).  The two seem to have a friendship and a bond formed from respect.  Did they know each other before they fought, or was this developed in the ring?
 
"No, I had never met him.  We fought on the same card (De Gale vs Groves) at the O2 arena.  We didn't get a chance to chat.  I don't have a bad word to say about Billy.  We spar together, we chat most weeks on the phone."  But......what if Saunders was the one holding the belt when O'Sullivan gets his chance?  "I won't fight him for nothing.  There needs to be a belt on the line.  If he beats Andy Lee it's a double win - hopefully I will get to fight Billy and I get to avenge my loss first time round.  I think Billy could win it, probably on points.  He's in a better place than when he fought Eubank, he never knew if that fight was on or off.  If he does win then I'll fight him - I'll knock him out, pick him up off the canvas and then we will go for a pint together!"
Back to his own career, what fights are in the pipeline for O'Sullivan?  "I'm looking at fighting on the Billy Joe versus Andy Lee card.  But I want my demands to be met.  I want my fight to be a final eliminator to take on the winner.  If not, then we'll see.  Problem is I don't think Adam Booth (Lee's trainer) wants Lee to fight me . I like Andy Lee, he's a gentleman and good luck to him.  But if he beats Saunders then we can make some serious money.  It would be the first time two Irishmen have fought for a world title, it would be huge."
 
So there's Lee, there's Saunders and then there is the potential of another (semi) Irishman, Matthew Macklin.  Macklin is making a partial comeback of his own, having lost to Jorge Sebastian Heiland in November of last year he still has his own ambitions and has since picked up a victory.  So out of the three, who would Spike want to be facing when he finally gets a chance at his world title shot?
 
"I respect Macklin a lot, he is a really decent bloke and I can't speak bad of him.  But I don't think he's at that same level at the moment.  It would probably be Billy Joe, so I can get a title and and avenge my loss.  But again, me and Andy would make a lot of money.  I know I can beat Saunders, and then we will go on holiday together!"
 
There are two other names that O'Sullivan has actively been calling out - Gennady Golovkin and......we'll come on to him later.  Does he really fancy the fight with the Kazakh wrecking ball Golovkin?  "I would love to fight him.  A lot of people want to see me fight him.  I respect him as a fighter, but I don't fear him.  I have the same belt now as his last opponent (Willie Monroe Jr) and I have a better record.  He has no reason not to fight me.  I also would love to get in with David Lemieux, that would be a war."
 
O'Sullivan clearly isn't bothered by reputation, or name.  And name is something that his last potential foe carries.....Chris Eubank Jr.  Since Eubank Jr lost to Billy Joe Saunders in November 2014, O'Sullivan has been vocal about wanting to fight the son of the legendary Chris Eubank.  So is that fight likely?  "I've given up on him.  He doesn't want the fight, it's clear.  His Daddy won't let him take it.  I have been calling for that fight to take place in Ireland, or I will take it in England.  But he won't do either.  He's too much of a pussy - I've even asked him if he bought a chicken farm with his money, but I haven't got an answer.  I'm the biggest fight out there for him at the moment."
 
There are clearly options out there for the man from Cork.  Quite which route he will end up down remains to be seen.  He is intent on getting the winner of Saunders vs Lee ("The press conference is on my birthday - I'll be there to call out the winner!").  With three fights under his belt in 2015 already he wants to stay busy - the route that he takes may be down to his choice, his promoters......or the outcome of a certain fight in Ireland.
 
You can follow Spike on Twitter @spike_osullivan