Cork boxing ace Spike has soccer superstar Zlatan in his corner ahead of his latest fight

Cork boxing ace Spike has soccer superstar Zlatan in his corner ahead of his latest fight
Cork boxer Spike O'Sullivan and his manager Packie Collins meeting Zlatan.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC has joined the Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan fan club.

The former Manchester United and Barcelona soccer star, who is now signed with LA Galaxy, teamed up with the Cork middleweight and his coach Paschal Collins in Los Angeles on Wednesday ahead of the 30th fight of O’Sullivan’s career.

The Mahon orthodox meets Puerto Rico-born Berlin Abreu at the StubHub Centre in LA. Both men weighed in yesterday ahead of the Golden Boy and Murphy’s Boxing promotion which will be broadcast by ESPN and live on Eir Sport tonight at 3.30am Irish time.

O’Sullivan tipped the scales at 158.2lbs and Abreu at 159.8lbs ahead of the 160lbs 10-rounder. O’Sullivan disappeared for a few minutes after the weigh-in but returned wearing a three-piece suit with dark sunglasses.

Both men spent a few seconds eyeing each other up at close quarters but dispersed with no further incident.

It’s estimated that the pair will be between the ropes at approximately 3.30am, and O’Sullivan is vowing that it will be a short night for Abreu, who has won 14 of his 15 outings.

“I’ll be going for a knockout, I always do. As said previously, he has a decent record and I respect that. He also likes to come forward which suits me fine,” he said.

The fight is the co-feature on a five-bout card which begins at 6pm local time.

Frustration:

Spike still has Kazakhstan’s middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin on his radar. O’Sullivan, in sheer frustration, threw in the towel on a previous offer to fight the Kazakh, but it’s all water under the bridge heading into another crucial weekend in his career.

His Dominican Republic-based orthodox opponent tonight is a welterweight who has moved up two weights to trade leather with the Mahon fighter over 10 rounds.

It all points to an early night for O’Sullivan who moved to LA last week to complete his training for the 30th fight of his career and his first bout of 2018.

“He’s a come-forward fighter, that’s for sure. But nothing can be taken for granted at this level and I have no intentions of doing that against this guy,” said O’Sullivan.

“There’s no way I’m looking past him. I’m fully focussed on the job at hand and on getting another win. I’ll be going for a knockout.”

The Rebel fighter’s new deal is an improvement on O’Sullivan’s four-fight agreement with Golden Boy and he’s expected to fight again this summer. He’ll then be knocking on the door for a fight with either Golovkin or Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

“They made an initial offer I agreed to, then they came back with half of that. I’d love to fight Golovkin down the road with a bit more notice and more money.”

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