CORK boxing chief Michael O’Brien hailed the performance of Gary 'Spike' O’Sullivan as top class following his stunning win in Canada last weekend.
The Leesider stopped highly-rated American fighter Antoine Douglas in the seventh round to claim the vacant WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title in Quebec and line up a world title tilt in the New Year.
“I’m on now for a cut at the world title and I’m looking forward to a massive 2018,” said O’Sullivan who thanked his sponsor Conal Thomas after the 19th inside the distance win of his career.
The former Loughmahon BC stand out, and Douglas, who inked a promotional deal with Oscar De La Hoya recently, had their moments in the opening six rounds.
But O’Sullivan’s heavier shots began to tell in the seventh and the ref waved it off with the Virginian taking further punishment on the ropes.
The 33-year-old Corkman is now in line for a World title tilt with defending WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders who completely outclassed Canada's David Lemieux in the main event on Saturday’s card.
O’Sullivan, who was beaten by Saunders at Wembley Arena in 2013, may now get a rematch with the British 2008 Olympian with the WBO title on the line.
Kazakh kingpin Gennady Golovkin is the holder of most of the other belts in the middleweight class and is slated for a rematch with Canelo Alvarez following their draw earlier this year.
Meantime, O’Sullivan is now in the mix with the big boys in his weight. Saturday’s victory improves his career wins to 27 victories from 29 outings and improves his KO ratio to 66%.
“I’m on top of the world stage and I’m delighted for all the people that showed faith in me and supported me. Keep on believing!” added the new WBO Inter-Continental champion.
Michael O’Brien, President of the Cork County Boxing Board, said they were thrilled to see O’Sullivan, who had Paschal Collins working his corner, record his fourth win from four fights this year.
“It was a top-class performance and win for Gary against a quality opponent.
"He’s worked very hard for this and he’s worked very hard to put himself in contention in the middleweight division, said O’Brien.
“Everyone involved in Cork boxing is proud of Gary and what he has achieved. We’re all looking forward to what should be a very exciting 2018.”