Following last weekend's world title action, we have updated our professional boxing world champions list. The main movers last weekend were Scotland's Ricky Burns who captured the WBA (Regular) world super-lightweight title by stopping Italian Michelle Di Rocco, and also Liverpool's Tony Bellew - who won the WBC crusierweight title by knocking out Illunga Makabu at Goodison Park in front…
O’Sullivan and Hyland Eyeing 2015 World Titles For Ireland
O’Sullivan and Hyland Eyeing 2015 World Titles For Ireland
Speaking to boxingnewsandviews.com Cork middleweight contender, Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, and Dubliner, Patrick ‘The Punisher’ Hyland, both believe they could soon be winning world titles for Ireland.
Irish Boxing Thriving
Following Andy Lee’s hard fought draw against Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin in the early hours of Sunday morning in Brooklyn, two other Irish boxers are predicting they will soon join him and Carl Frampton as Irish world champions.
Firstly, O’Sullivan said that Irish professional boxing is currently thriving and more and more fighters look like making a breakthrough at any time.
“I think it’s fair to say that it (Irish boxing) is at it is strongest of all time – we have two world champions and soon there will be three,” O’Sullivan said confidently.
In his bid to win a world title, O’Sullivan has recently relocated to the States in search of fights he couldn’t get here.
“I’ve been trying to fight Chris Eubank all along, everyone wants it to happen, the venue was ready- he just wouldn’t sign the contract, he kept making me waiting so I had to go,” O’Sullivan said of his move Stateside.
Chris Eubank Jr, the highly rated son of former world middleweight champion Chris Eubank Sr, has repeatedly been linked to a fight with ‘Spike’ but as of yet nothing has materialised.
O’Sullivan, from Mahon, outside Cork City is often described as ‘quite a character’ with his confidence, brashness and unique style – he has a shamrock shaved on the side of his head.
Madison Square Garden
Just recently returned from the States after two knockout wins in two weeks, one at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s weekend, Spike, has adopted the catch phrase “have gloves, will travel”.
On Tuesday, Spike’s promoters in the US announced that he had been added to the Andre Dirrell vs James DeGale undercard which has been slated for May 9 at Fenway Park, Boston, home of the Boston Red Sox.
Dubliner, Patrick ‘the Punisher Hyland, also believes that he is on track to win a world title in the near future, having come close in the past
“If the chance comes again I’ll definitely take it. I was close the last time. Hopefully I’ll get another shot by year’s end”.
Hyland, who also fights primarily in the US, headlined that bill in Madison Square Garden on St Patrick’s weekend.
The highly rated Tallaght boxer fights at featherweight and also believes Irish boxing is at its healthiest in years despite the lack of coverage given to it by the Irish media.
“Irish boxing is in great shape in terms of fighters, but maybe the support isn’t there. When Bernard Dunne was boxing the media really got behind him. Maybe nights like Carl Frampton’s will remind people.”
Hyland, a very amicable man despite his “Punisher” pseudonym, was philosophical about why so many Irish boxers move Stateside.“Look at what Andy Lee has achieved by travelling over – if you want titles and to make a living you have to travel over.”
Eddie Hearn’s latest Matchroom star Josh Warrington is a fight Hyland would love to take if the chance presented itself.
“I told Eddie Hearn I’ve no problem going to Leeds to fight Warrington, he gets a good crowd and fair play to him but if it doesn’t happen it won’t bother me too much”.
Lack of coverage
One thing Hyland and O’Sullivan certainly have in common is their disdain for the lack of coverage pro- boxing gets from the mainstream media here.
O’Sullivan said: “It’s annoying and unfair. RTÉ is a f*****g disgrace. The Andy Lee interview on the Late Late show, after he won the world title was disgraceful. They had him on for two minutes at the end. He’s a world champion.”
Hyland who fought for a world title in Las Vegas on a Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez undercard in the past shared similar sentiments.
“I’ve met Conor McGregor and he’s a nice guy, but the UFC guys do get serious coverage compared to us. I opened a Manny Pacquiao Pay Per View in Las Vegas, fighting for a world title, a lad from Tallaght and barely anyone knew about it.
“Just last month I headlined Madison Square Garden and Spike (O’Sullivan) was on the undercard. Two Irish lads as the main attraction, in the Mecca of boxing and no one knew. It is no wonder we have to fight in the States”Both O’Sullivan and Hyland see themselves as world champions in the making and it would take a brave man to bet against it.
Spike is certainly confident of this and says he’d have absolutely no problem taking on world star Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin if given the chance.
“I’ve asked to fight him many times. I’d knock him out I believe that 100%- Buster Douglas said he’d knock out Mike Tyson and people laughed at him and look what happened there”, O’Sullivan said of the dangerous champion.
Both Hyland and O’Sullivan have impressive records and have lost only a fight a piece. O’Sullivan losing out on points to Eubank Jr conqueror and future Andy Lee opponent Billy Joe Saunders, while Hyland was also beaten on points in a close encounter with Dominican Javier Fortuna for the WBA interim Featherweight championship in Vegas in 2012.
Following Andy Lee’s draw at the weekend and with Carl Frampton likely to fight Scott Quigg in the summer in a huge bout, there has not been such a buzz about the sport here amongst the mainstream media and non boxing fans since Bernard Dunne knocked out Ricardo Cordoba in the Point Theatre Dublin in 2007.
In the wings, O’Sullivan and Hyland are biding their time to join Lee and Frampton as Irish world champions.