Spike O’Sullivan vs Melvin Betancourt Preview
We spoke with the popular Cork middleweight ahead of his big American TV matchup, which will see him feature on the undercard of the De Gale vs Dirrell world title fight this weekend in Boston.
This coming Saturday Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan takes on big hitting Melvin Betancourt from the Dominican Republic. Although Betancourt has primarily campaigned in his native country to date, with a record of 29-1 (23KO) and his unknown quality element due to a lack of footage available on him, he’s certainly a very live and dangerous adversary for the Corkonian.
Since hooking up with promoter Ken Casey this year, O’Sullivan has enjoyed more regular activity than ever before and has even had the chance to box at the iconic Madison Square Garden arena in New York, when last time out he dispatched of Columbian Milton Nunez in three impressive rounds.
This weekend will represent perhaps the Cork man’s greatest ever opportunity from a publicity standpoint, when he appears on a card that will also feature some very high profile American and UK boxers.
The event will be live on network television on NBC and Spike TV in the States and for viewers in the UK and Ireland, it will be shown live on Sky Sports.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s bout, ‘Spike’ first touched on his preparations.
“Everything is going the way I plan as always. I’ve a great coach, he always makes sure I’m on top of things. I’ve done a lot of swimming for this fight, chopping down trees and working on my power”.
O’Sullivan was involved in a hilarious interview with the guys at Irish-Boxing (above) last week, making light of this training regime and also having a lighthearted dig at recent Carl Froch remarks to Floyd Mayweather.
“You have to put the goggles on when your chopping trees because of the splinters – safety first like!.”
Melvin Betancourt certainly has a good record and is not to be underestimated. O’Sullivan has seen some brief footage on his foe.
“I’ve just seen one short clip. He looks wild, powerful, but wild. As always, I’ll be going for the knockout. He wont have to go looking for me and it’s definitely going to be an exciting fight for people. Both of us are big punchers, somebody’s probably going to get knocked out. I predict it’s going to be him.”
The Big Stage
Touching on this weekend’s considerable television exposure, O’Sullivan said:
“It’s great exposure with NBC and Spike TV in America broadcasting it, and Sky Sports too in Ireland and the UK. What’s great about it as well, is that I think me and James De Gale will get to go on during the day time over there, which will be a good time for people back here in Europe, especially in Ireland of course.”
“It’s great also that people like Al Haymon and Lou Di Bella are involved and it will give me a great chance to showcase my ability. I can’t wait to just get out there and show what I can do.”
All Irish World Title Fight
Speaking on possible fights down the line with fellow Irish men like Matthew Macklin and Andy Lee, Spike said he didn’t have much interest in Macklin at this point until he gets up in the ranks again, but a possible fight with Lee was definitely something that motivates him.
“I’d like to fight Andy Lee, he’s the world champion. He’s a top bloke, I’m delighted for him that he achieved what he did. I like Andy a lot and we’re friends, but yeah I’d like to fight him. I’d fight my own brother for a world title!”
Cork Stadium Fight
‘Spike’ went onto mention later in our conversation, of how a stadium fight for a world title with a fellow Irish man would be a dream.
“Definitely, it would be a dream for me, I’d love it. Maybe if I win a title first. Me and Andy Lee would be unbelievable. I know we’d probably have to go to Limerick, which I’d have no problem with either.”
“It would be the first time in history two Irish men fought for a world title, it would be amazing. But to answer your initial question, I’d love a stadium fight in Cork, Musgrave park even. I’m a big Cork city fan also.”
Now there’s a thought for Irish fight fans, a stadium fight for a world title between two Irish boxers. Lets hope the Irish boxing gods are listening.
What time this weekend’s fight kicks off
This Saturday Spike O’Sullivan vs Melvin Betancourt will kick off very early in the day local time in Boston. Doors are expected to open at 1.30pm for the show, so expect Spike to be on at roughly 3-4pm local time (if you are watching on American television).
This will come as good news for folks in Europe, who will not have to stay up as late as usual to catch the big time American boxing action. Irish and UK viewers on Sky Sports will be five hours ahead in the time difference from Boston, with the coverage beginning at 8pm Irish/UK time on Sky Sports 1.
Check your local listings for any changes to the TV schedule ahead of this weekend’s Premier Boxing Champions event and strap yourself in – for what promises to be a fantastic night of sweet science action.
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