GARY 'Spike' O’Sullivan is back on the warpath and has the WBO World light-middleweight crown in his sights after a clinical stoppage of Khiary Gray at the House of Blues in Boston on St Patrick’s eve.
The fight was halted in the sixth round after the Massachusetts fighter, who was cut over both eyes, was wobbled from a thudding right hook from the marauding Leesider.
Conal Thomas, who was in O’Sullivan’s corner with chief seconds Paschal Collins, reckoned the Corkman systematically wore his opponent down: “This guy was no pushover. This is a big win for Spike and this is a huge victory, fantastic performance. The support he received tonight was absolutely unbelievable,” he said.
Khairy wasn’t happy with the call to short circuit the 10-rounder. He briefly remonstrated with the ref but it was the correct decision from the third man in the ring, referee Steve Clarke.
The blood-soaked American, who had won 16 (12 KO) of his 20 outings up to his meeting with the Mahon orthodox, was absorbing too much punishment and looked as if he would have ended up getting badly hurt.
O’Sullivan will head south — down Mexico way— next month.
Kildare-born Dennis Hogan meets Mexico’s defending champion Jaime Munguia in Mexico on April 13, and O’Sullivan, whose only defeats have been to the world champion, will be in situ to have “a chat” with the victor.
“I’m going to take a flight out to Mexico next month. My next port of call with will be at ringside for Munguia and Denis Hogan,” he said.
Khairy looked gassed out shortly before being taken into protective custody after setting a ridiculous pace in the first round to try and take O’Sullivan, who responded with two overhand rights, out.
The Boston native, who looked distraught after the fifth defeat of his career, needed attention to a wound over his left eye in the second and his cuts man also had to attend to a gash on his right eyebrow.
In between those frames, O’Sullivan walked down his man and delivered head and body shots. Khairy had some respite midway through the 10-rounder from what appeared to be a low blow, but replays suggested the shot was, whilst borderline, on the belt.
O’Sullivan’s win ultimately rubbished suggestions that he would lose his strength and had no business moving down from middle to light middle.
“I would like to thank my opponent for putting up an absolutely fantastic performance tonight. He’s a true warrior, added the Mahon orthodox who improved to 30 wins from 33 bouts and also improved his KO ratio to 64% after having his hand raised in triumph.
“He wouldn’t have quit himself and credit to the ref, but even more credit to Khairy. I’m sure he will come back and will go on to do great things.
“He was very sharp. He started very quick but I was always confident that I’d get him out of there in the end with the big bombs. I want to step up and become light middleweight champion of the world.”
Michael O’Brien, President of the Cork County Boxing Board, congratulated O’Sullivan and Noel Murphy on their wins in Boston.