Chris Eubank Jr's new promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that one of the most feverishly anticipated fights in Irish and British boxing is tantalisingly close to being finalised.
After months of vociferous call-outs, derisory contract offers and negotiative breakdowns, it seems Cork knockout artist Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan and Eubank Jr will finally trade leather on December 12th, on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's own grudge match with Dillion Whyte at the O2 in London.
Asked on Twitter if the fight was close to being made, Hearn's response was a sight for the sore eyes of any Irish fight fan:
@gaffer1888 @spike_osullivan very close..pretty much there
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 6, 2015
Spike and Eubank have been on each other's radars for what seems like forever, with their sole respective defeats arriving via decision at the hands of the same man - upcoming Andy Lee opponent, Billy Joe Saunders.
The proud Corkonian recently climbed to no.10 in the WBA's middleweight rankings - the organisation whose Interim world title is held by Eubank in the no.1 slot.
A victory for Spike on December 12th would propel him to that same first contender slot, and provide the breakthrough the 'Celtic Rebel' has looked for with four-straight stoppage victories since he chinned domestic nemesis Anthony Fitzgerald at the 3Arena last November.
What a finish from Spike O'Sullivan - Fitzgerald out before he hits the canvas BOOM.! (1/2)
— KO KINGS (@KOKINGS4) September 16, 2015
Taking to his Facebook page last week, Spike was typically cold and calculated in his take on a fight that he's been calling for since the summer of 2013:
Only two men have called me out since I turned pro. Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing delivered one of them to me in Dublin last November, and I knocked him out in 60 seconds live on Sky Sports.
The other is Chris Eubank Jr, and you all know that he's been running scared ever since. Maybe Junior won't be able to hide behind contracts and excuses now.
Put Christopher Eubank Junior in a boxing ring with me and I will put that boy to sleep.
O'Sullivan will first fight David Toribio live on NBC in the States this Saturday night. The 'Irish Invasion' card also contains two of Dublin's finest in lightweight Stephen Ormond and super-featherweight Patrick Hyland, and takes place in the legendary 'Irish' Micky Ward's hometown of Lowell.
Barring the proverbial banana skin (and provided Eubank gets through his own fight on October 24th), Irish and British fans can now begin to look forward to one of the two isles' most spiteful rivalries being ended in the ring in two months' time.
It's also worth noting that, from a historic perspective, the pair's clash will go full-on flat circle; O'Sullivan is trained by the Collins brothers - Paschal and Steve - in the Celtic Warrior Gym. Back in 1995, 'Celtic Warrior' Steve Collins beat Eubank's father in back to back world title fights. Both fights took place in Spike's native county of Cork.
Add the ever-bubbling Collins-Eubank rivalry to the mix in either corner, and you've got yourself an unmissable build-up and event.