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Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan possible for Gennady Golovkin on May 5

Image: Gary 'Spike' O’Sullivan possible for Gennady Golovkin on May 5

By Tim Royner: Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) could be the replacement opponent that faces IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) on May 5 if Golden Boy Promotions star Saul Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) receives another suspension when the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 10.

O’Sullivan was recently being mentioned as a possible opponent for Canelo to fight in September of this year. He’s with Golden Boy Promotions. For Golovkin to be facing O’Sullivan, it would have to be blessed by Golden Boy. It’s not an opponent that would do much to increase interest in a Canelo-GGG 2 rematch unfortunately. It’ll take a better opponent than that to get boxing fans excited t seeing Golovkin and Canelo fight a second time.

Golovkin will likely receive criticism from boxing fans, fighters and the media if he faces O’Sullivan rather than one of the top five contenders. O’Sullivan is the type of record-padding opponent that Golovkin has fought in the past before he became the popular fighter he is now.

At the level Golovkin is fighting now, the fans expect him to face the best. O’Sullivan is not the best. He might not even be in the top 15 of the most talented fighters in the 160 lb. division. O’Sullivan is a serviceable fighter who can beat the fringe level guys, but not the best.

The likely rationale for why GGG would face O’Sullivan on May 5 rather than a better-known fighter that the U.S boxing fans are familiar with is he will help build a fight for Triple G against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders for later this year. O’Sullivan and Saunders are both from the UK. O’Sullivan is from Ireland. A fight between Golovkin and O’Sullivan could bring in a huge audience if it were staged in New York where there is a large Irish community. Golovkin is very popular in the New York area.

According to, the 33-year-old O’Sullivan is an option for Golovkin to face if Canelo is unavailable due to the Nevada Commission further suspending him for his 2 failed tests for clenbuterol on February 17 and February 20. O’Sullivan is scheduled to fight against an opponent to be determined on May 4th in Las Vegas, but he can be easily moved to May 5th to face Golovkin.

O’Sullivan has faced just two top 5 fighters in his career in Chris Eubank Jr. and he was destroyed in 7 rounds by Chris Eubank Jr. in December 2015 and dominated by Billy Joe Saunders in a 12 round unanimous decision loss in July 2013. The good news is O’Sullivan has won his last 5 fights, but unfortunately the wins have come against weak opposition.

O’Sullivan is not seen as being in the same class talent-wise of some of the other top fighters in the middleweight division like Daniel Jacobs, Demetrius Andrade, Billy Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. The only explanation that one could think of for Team Golovkin to be considering a fighter in O’Sullivan’s fringe level class is that maybe it wouldn’t be fair to GGG or the top talents to face each other on May 5 with little more than 3 weeks’ prep for the fight.

Golovkin won’t find out whether Canelo can fight him until his hearing with the Nevada Commission on April 10. That’s when the Commission will make the decision whether to let the Mexican superstar take the fight with GGG on the 5th of May.

O’Sullivan’s last five wins have come against these fighters:

• Antoine Douglas (22-1-1) – KO 7

• Nick Quigley (15-2) – TKO 4

• Chauncey Fields (4-2) – KO 2

• Ronald Montes (17-5) – RTD 3

• Jaime Barboza (19-8) – UD 8

There’s no question about O’Sullivan’s ability to beat fighters with weak to moderate talent. O’Sullivan beats them every time. It’s when O’Sullivan faces good opposition is when he fails at his job.

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