GARY ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan is weighing up his options and considering moving down to light-middleweight after his world title bid bit the dust following a flash first-round stoppage at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The Cork middleweight was stopped 16 seconds from the bell for the end of the first round of the scheduled 12-rounder by Canada’s former IBF champion David Lemieux in a World title eliminator in Nevada.
O’Sullivan started brightly enough. His jab worried the Montreal puncher early on, but Lemieux caught the Corkman cold 2 minutes and 44 seconds into the first round after detonating a short and powerful left hook to the head.
The third man in the ring, American referee Russell Mora, started administrating a count after O’Sullivan went down but waved the fight off after it became apparent that the Leesider was in no condition to continue.
“I believe I would have won the fight but I got caught with a shot I didn’t see coming,” admitted O’Sullivan who will probably have to serve a mandatory one-month medical suspension after the third defeat of his 31 bout career, all of which were to ex or current world champions.
“I’m going to make a move down to light middleweight. I weighed in tonight at 163lbs in my clothes. I felt great in there, just a freak shot. I feel (physically) grand now.
“I presume there will be a medical suspension but they haven’t said anything. I hope to be back in the ring in December. I’m taking a week out of the gym and I’ll be back in training, “ added O’Sullivan who is due home Tuesday.
Las Vegas marks the first time that the Leesider has been dropped in his career and the first time he’s lost in the USA in 13 outings.
His friend and sponsor, Conal Thomas, President of the Cork Boxing Fraternity, believes he has the character to bounce back from the reversal: “He (Lemieux) caught him with a very hard punch. Spike was in the best shape of his life, but your man is a very hard puncher,” said Thomas from ringside in Las Vegas.
“If you look at the punch, Lemieux was just a bit lucky. There’s no boxer, no matter how good you are, that will survive that. He’s a hard puncher.
“Spike is still a very good boxer. He’s put Cork and Irish boxing on the map. It was just a wild shot and Spike walked into it.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is that Spike is okay.” O’Sullivan would have been in line for a world title shot against either Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez, who met in the main event of the evening at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, if he had won his 31st outing on Saturday night.
But it’s now very much back to the drawing board for the Mahon orthodox and his coach Paschal Collins after Lemieux scored the 34th KO of his 44-bout career.