Spike O’Sullivan agrees to fight Golovkin on May 5th

By Boxing News - 04/04/2018 - Comments

Image: Spike O’Sullivan agrees to fight Golovkin on May 5th

By Dan Ambrose: Irish fighter Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan has confirmed that he’s agreed to step in and face IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin on May 5th in place of Saul Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golovkin vs. O’Sullivan fight still isn’t official yet.

(Photo credit: Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan Twitter)

This fight has mismatch written all over it, but most fighters in the middleweight division would be out of their element against. The only ones that have been competitive with Golovkin thus far were Canelo and Daniel Jacobs, and both of those fighters used a lot of movement to avoid getting it. Not surprisingly, they didn’t win. To beat Golovkin you’re going to have to fight him, and Canelo and Jacobs were not interested in doing any of that for a sustained period. It was hit and run for the most part from those two.

O’Sullivan isn’t a runner, and he couldn’t if he wanted to. He’s a guy that plants his feet and swings for the fences. O’Sullivan is the ideal opponent for Golovkin to show what he does best by slugging. Hopefully, GGG (37-0-1, 33 KOs) doesn’t spoil the fight by jabbing all night long like he did against Canelo. That was not interesting to watch.

Canelo pulled out of the Golovkin fight on Tuesday. Canelo has a meeting with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 18, and he probably wasn’t going to be able to make the May 5th date even if he wanted to.

O’Sullivan, 33, revealed the news of an offer on his social media on Wednesday. He’s now waiting to hear back what the next move is.

This is not the opponent that the U.S boxing fans want to see Golokin fight in place of Canelo Alvarez.

“I’ve said yes to fighting GGG, I’ve been training nonstop since my last fight and now I’m waiting to see if it can be agreed, just like you. I trust my team to do what’s right for me, one way or another,” O’Sullivan said on his social media.

The fans think Golovkin is padding his record by facing a soft touch in O’Sullivan so he can get a sure thing win so he can tie Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20 title defenses without a loss at middleweight. If that’s what the idea is for GGG, then he’s really letting down a lot of boxing fans, because they expected more from him than this. The basic argument that boxing fans have against O’Sullivan getting the fight, besides him not very talented, is the fact that he hasn’t beaten anyone good to deserve a title shot against Golovkin on HBO PPV on May 5. O’Sullivan has been just beating scrubs most of his career.

The choice of O’Sullivan as Canelo’s replacement isn’t a good one for Cinco de Mayo on May 5. Golokin’s management should be aware that this a special day of the year, and the boxing fans want to see a good opponent fighting Golovkin. O’Sullivan is a fighter that was totally dominated by Chris Eubank Jr. and Billy Joe Saunders in fight that was not competitive at all. Eubank Jr. totally outclassed O’Sullivan in stopping him in the 7th round in December 2015. O’Sullivan has won his last five fights, but he’s not beaten anyone good. His last win was against Antoine Douglas on December 16. Douglas was landing well in the early going of the fight before O’Sullivan started to land his big power shots and wound up knocking him out.

“As soon as I know what’s going on I will tell you. If I get the opportunity to go in against the best I won’t let you down. I truly believe that it is my destiny to become the world champion,” O’Sullivan said.

This will be a big payday for O’Sullivan with the fight against GGG being televised on HBO PPV. If the fight brings in even a small number of PPV buys, it’ll still be a nice purse for O’Sullivan. Given the attention Golovkin’s last fight against Canelo received from the boxing world, a lot of fans will purchase his May 5th card, even though he’s not facing the Mexican star. The fans will still want to see Golovkin fight. That’s a positive for O’Sullivan unless he’s being given a flat fee for the fight. If O’Sullivan is able to share in the PPV upside, then he can make some decent coin off this fight, and he won’t be the one responsible for bringing in the fans, because the U.S boxing fans have no idea who he is. The U.S fans will only be tuning in to see Golovkin. O’Sullivan will be the prop inside the ring on May 5th. Hopefully, O’Sullivan can make a decent fight of it.

Canelo only tested positive for small levels of clenbuterol. The amount of clenbuterol in Canelo’s 2 positive tests for the substance on February 17 and February 20 was the same levels one would see from a fighter that had eaten contaminated food. But the tests were positive, and the Nevada Commission isn’t likely going to let Canelo escape punishment. For the record, Canelo says he ate contaminated meat. I don’t think it matters to the Nevada Commission. They have two positive tests from Canelo, and they’re likely going to suspend him for a while, maybe 6 months.

O’Sullivan is ranked #11 by the World Boxing Council. His 7th round knockout win over Antonine Douglas last September got a lot of attention, because the fight took place on the undercard of the Billy Joe Saunders vs. David Lemieux card in Canada. The fight was televised on HBO.

It’s not as if Golovkin’s promoters didn’t have other options besides O’Sullivan. Demetrius Andrade and Sergiy Derevyanchenko are both interested in facing him on May 5. There was also junior middleweight Jaime Munguia as a possibility, but O’Sullivan’s name is the one that keeps getting mentioned. He’s co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, so it’s unclear whether Golovkin’s management at K2 Promotions are selecting O’Sullivan to please them, because there’s no real reason to take a soft fight like that when you’ve got so many people that will be tuning in on May 5th to see GGG fight. It would be better for Golovkin to fight Andrade or Derevyanchenko, because those are good fighters at least. O’Sullivan is more of a domestic level fighter. The fans see Golovkin vs. O’Sullivan as a terrible fight, and they’re being bashful about expressing their opinion. Since Golovkin is going to be fighting on HBO PPV on May 5th, it bothers the fans that he’s picked out an opponent that is going to leave a lot of fans feeling unhappy at paying to see this mismatch. O’Sullivan is like a high-level journeyman rather than a true contender.

WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders wants to be next in line to face Golovkin later this year in September, but that’s not looking like it’s going to happen. If Canelo’s suspension is done, then he’ll be the one that will be facing Golovkin in August or September of this year. Saunders is not in the picture. He could have been if he was willing to fight GGG on May 5th, but he’s not.
A lot of boxing fans had planned on traveling far to come see Golovkin fight Canelo in a rematch on May 5. Those same fans aren’t going to want to travel and book hotels at a high cost to see Golovkin beat up O’Sullivan. That’s not a compelling fight.