By Tim Royner: Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan wants a title shot against WBO junior middleweight champion Patrick Teixeira (31-1, 22 KO) for his 154-lb strap this year. The Golden Boy promoted O’Sullivan is coming off of an 11th round knockout defeat to the much bigger Jaime Munguia last January, but it was a highly competitive and entertaining contest.
O’Sullivan believes he’s earned the right to fight for a world title at 154, but unfortunately, his recent track record suggests otherwise. The native Irish O’Sullivan is coming off of a loss to Munguia, and that hurts his argument that he’s deserving of a world title shot.
O’Sullivan has lost 2 out of his last four fights
The main problem that will likely prevent the 35-year-old O’Sullivan from getting a crack at WBO 154-pound champion Teixeira is the fact that he’s lost two out of his last four fights since 2018.
What O’Sullivan has in his favor is that he and the Brazilian Teixeira share the same promoter in Golden Boy Promotions. That, in theory, should make a fight possible 2020 or next year, but Teixeira has a mandatory defense that he needs to get out of the way against #1 WBO Brian Castano.
The chances are, Teixeira will lose to Castano. Once that happens, then O’Sullivan can forget about getting a title shot. Without a ranking in the top 154 with the World Boxing Organization, O’Sullivan will be out of luck in trying to get a title shot against Castano.
For that reason, it’s now or never for O’Sullivan. He’s got to push his promoters at Golden Boy Promotions to get them to set up a fight with Teixeira, even though he doesn’t deserve the fight.
O’Sullivan (30-4, 21 KOs) has lost on four occasions when he’s stepped it up against better opposition in Chris Eubank Jr, Billy Joe Saunders, David Lemieux, and Munguia. However, the 5’10” O’Sullivan’s explanation for those defeats is the fact that he was facing more prominent fighters than himself.
O’Sullivan says he’s earned a title shot at 154
“I stepped up, and I fought the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr, David Lemieux, and Jaime Munguia,” O’Sullivan said Golden Boy. “But they’re all bigger men than me. I’m really a junior middleweight, and I’d like the opportunity to fight for a world title in my weight division. I believe I’ve earned that, and I believe I deserve it.”
It’s too bad O’Sullivan wasted so much time in the 160-pound weight class because he was clear from day one that he lacked the size to compete in that weight class. The nice paydays that O’Sullivan got against the likes of Eubank Jr, Sanders, Lemieux, and Munguia were too hard to resist.
O’Sullivan is at the wrong end of 30 for him to be getting a world title shot at junior middleweight anytime soon. Unless WBO 154-lb champion Teixeira throws O’Sullivan a bone by giving him an undeserving title shot, it could take him years to get ranked high enough to fight for a belt.
Unfortunately for O’Sullivan, he doesn’t have enough time to slowly work his way to a fight against one of the 154-lb belt holders. Again, O’Sullivan isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies at 154, and it could take ages for him to get pushed up the rankings. O’Sullivan can get pushed up quickly if he beats one of these contenders:
- Erickson Lubin
- Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams
- Erislandy Lara
- Israil Madrimov
- Jarrett Hurd
- Tony Harrison
Spike confident he can beat Teixeira
“It’s the fight I want, but I really doubt he’ll be up to it. I’ve seen a fight where he got knocked out by Curtis Stevens,” O’Sullivan said. “I believe I’m a bigger puncher than Curtis Stevens, and certainly enough to take care of Teixeira and become the new junior middleweight champion of the world. I’m confident I can beat him.”
O’Sullivan probably can beat Teixeira, but getting the chance to take the fight with him is the real obstacle. Spike only has a small window to get the battle with Teixeira before he’s dethroned, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen in time.
“If I fight Canelo, he looks more Irish, and I look more Mexican than he does, so it’s going to be fun,” said O’Sullivan to Fino Boxing.
At this point in O’Sullivan’s career, he can no longer afford to be the B-side fighter who faces guys that are bigger than himself. He’s suffered too many defeats, and his usefulness as an opponent is declining. That’s why it’s essential for O’Sullivan to fight in a weight class that’s more suited to his body size at 154.