By Scott Gilfoid: Irish middleweight Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan has signed a new 3-fight deal with American promotional powerhouse Golden Boy Promotions that could lead to him facing the winner of the September Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin rematch sometime in December or in the first half of 2019.
O’Sullivan, 33, surprised a lot of people when he chose not to accept the offer to fight Golovkin on May 5 as the replacement opponent for Canelo Alvarez. O’Sullivan had been interested in fighting Golovkin on the 5th of May, but when the fight was moved to non-pay-per-view HBO, he decided not to accept it due to lesser money. O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) will now be fighting welterweight Berlin Abreu (14-1, 11 KOs) on May 4 on ESPN on the undercard of Ryan Garcia vs. Jayson Velez at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
O’Sullivan has been roundly criticized by the boxing media for rejecting a fight against Golovkin and ending up with a smaller payday against little known welterweight Abreu on the Garcia-Velez undercard on May 4. Dan Rafael of ESPN is one of many people who feel that O’Sullivan made the wrong decision to turn down the fight with GGG.
Here’s what O’Sullivan said on his Twitter:
”Let me explain things to you in your language Danny boy! 1. If you’re at the bakery and the baker says you can have 1 donut right now! 2. If you leave this 1 donut & just wait a few months you can have more than a million donuts 🍩🍩🍩🍩 3. Luckily some of us have discipline!”
O’Sullivan’s decision to skip the Golovkin fight in favor of a easier fight on paper against welterweight Abreu might pay off for him, as he’s apparently being groomed by Golden Boy to fight the winner of the Canelo-GGG 2 rematch, although it’s highly unlikely Golovkin will bother taking a fight against O’Sullivan after he faces Canelo on September 15.Even if Golovkin wanted to take another tune-up fight, he probably can’t due to his commitments with his IBF and WBA mandatory challengers.
If the IBF grants Golovkin the exception to bypass his IBF mandatory challenger in order to take the Martirosyan fight on May 5, then that title defense will almost surely be next for Golovkin after he faces Canelo next September. The only way around that fight is if Golovkin faces WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in a unification.
The International Boxing Federation are unlikely to allow Golovkin to take another voluntary defense without insisting that he fight Derevyanchenko. That’s bad news for O’Sullivan, but it doesn’t mean that he won’t get a fight against Canelo. He’s the one that O’Sullivan will likely be facing regardless of what happen with him in his rematch with Golovkin.
”We can still fight Canelo or Golovkin because the third fight [of the deal] is going to be to face the winner of that rematch,” O’Sullivan’s manager Paschal Collins said to irish-boxing.com. “It’ll probably be December if it’s Golovkin or probably next April or May if it’s Canelo,”
It’s very farfetched that O’Sullivan will get a fight against Golovkin anytime soon if ever. The U.S boxing public has zero interest in seeing Golovkin take on another soft opponent after he does the job on Vanes Martirosyan on May 5. If Golovkin beats Canelo on September 15 in their rematch on HBO PPV, the boxing fans in the U.S are going to want to see GGG fight one of four opponents:
• Billy Joe Saunders
• Jermall Charlo
• Sergiy Derevyanchenko
• Daniel Jacobs
I hate to say it but O’Sullivan is not even in the universe of opponents that the American fans want to see Golovkin fighting. I mean, O’Sullivan would have been fine as a last minute replacement opponent for Golovkin’s May 5th fight, but that’s it. The fans in the U.S have no idea who O’Sullivan is outside of the hardcore fans, and they weren’t excited about the prospects of seeing Golovkin beat up on Chris Eubank Jr. and Saunders’ leftovers.
What we’re likely going to see is O’Sullivan fight someone like David Lemieux on the undercard of Golovkin vs. Canelo 2 on September 15. The winner of that fight will then face Canelo in May 2019. O’Sullivan and Lemieux are both with Golden Boy Promotions, so Canelo would be taking an in house fight in May of 2019.
It’s surprising that O’Sullivan is getting a lot of attention in the U.S since his 7th round knockout win over Antoine Douglas last December, because he’s not a big star in the UK. Golden Boy is helping O’Sullivan make a name for himself in the U.S with their match-making. It’s up to O’Sullivan to try and make the most of it by beating Abreu on May 4, and then defeat whoever Golden Boy matches him up against in September. If O’Sullivan wins both of those fights, then he’ll be in a good position to fight Canelo on Cinco de Mayo in May 2019.