Spike O’Sullivan hopeful of Dennis Hogan World Title fight – Recalls Sparring Sessions


Spike O’Sullivan [28(20)-3(2)] is more than up for a world title fight with fellow Irishman Dennis Hogan [27(7)-1(0)-1] and believes that the match-up is more than a possibility.

Brisbane-based Kildare man Hogan is currently the WBO light middleweight mandatory challenger and must face the winner of the mooted title fight between champion Jaime Mungia and voluntary Takeshi Inoue that is rumoured for January 26th.

‘The Hurricane’ has long-stated that it is his vision to win the belt and make his first defence at the 3Arena in Dublin – and his manager Paul Keegan recently suggested Spike O’Sullivan as the perfect opponent for such a dream fight.

READ: Tam Hogan plotting O’Sullivan World Title defence

Cork’s O’Sullivan is moving down to 154lbs, beginning this process next Friday night on the big Assassin Ray Moylette ‘Homecoming’ show in Castlebar.

Promotionally, U.S. giant Golden Boy have opted to stay with O’Sullivan along with his long-time partners at Murphys Boxing.

This vote of confidence came following his loss to David Lemieux in September, and O’Sullivan reveals that Oscar De La Hoya’s outfit are backing the Mahon man to make a splash at light middle.

It’s a division which Golden Boy have a big stake in, having recently extended their co-promotional deal with Mexican outfit Zanfer to guide the career of WBO champ Munguia.

The 21-year-old beltholder is the primary target of both Irishmen – with Hogan currently topping the queue – although his continued presence at 154lbs is up for date considering both his age and size.

While 33-year-old Hogan is adamant that he wants to take the belt from the Mexican, O’Sullivan can envision ‘The Beast’ moving up in weight – potentially in search of a mega-money bout with countryman Canelo Alvarez.

In that way, the Celtic Warriors character believes the first all-Irish world title fight may not be too far away.

Explaining his situation with Golden Boy, O’Sullivan told Irish-Boxing.com that “they called me up, only a few weeks ago, to reassure me that they think no less of me because of the fight.”

“They think there’s a big future for me at light middleweight and they’re fully behind me and seeing me become a champion in 2019.”

“They have Munguia as well and the plan is to fight him or, if he vacates the title, fight maybe Dennis Hogan for the vacant title. I saw they mentioned me recently.”

34-year-old O’Sullivan, who is fond of a call-out himself, took no offence to Keegan’s linking of the pair.

Indeed, the Leesider has fond memories of Hogan – who visited the Celtic Warriors Gym back in 2015 ahead of his fight in Germany with Jack Culcay.

O’Sullivan noted how “the majority of boxers are nice. Dennis, I’ve sparred him before, his team are all nice fellas and, of course, it would be respectful [if they were to fight].”

“It would be fantastic to fight Dennis for the world title, the first time in history two Irishmen fight for a world title.”

Hogan’s 2015 WBA ‘interim’ title clash with Culcay, which was postponed to the lilywhite’s detriment from September to December, saw him spar O’Sullivan ahead of the initial date.

O’Sullivan recalls the sparring well and described how “I was at middleweight then, I was bigger than him, and Dennis had a pretty big fight in Germany coming up. He was close to weight, a lot lighter than me at the time.”

“It’s hard to read into sparring, anyway, I think we were both sort of just going through the motions,” he added before clarifying that this holding back was not a tactical move.

“I never could see this fight coming, I never thought I could fight Dennis, so there was none of that, really, I was just giving him a hand preparing for his fight.”

Of course, there is still plenty of work to do for a fight to come to fruition. O’Sullivan must first win his fight next Friday night in Mayo while Hogan also has a tough fight in Brisbane versus Jamie Weetch the following Saturday [December 15th].

However, if these two bouts can be navigated, there are easily a set of circumstances which could see the pair face off in the new year in a reprisal of their 2015 sparring sessions.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]