The Cork middleweight stopped Antoine Douglas in the seventh round of their WBO Inter-Continental title fight in Montreal, announcing himself to North American fans and as a real player in the 160lbs division.
After stopping Nick Quigley in the fourth round of a Golden Boy on ESPN card in Boston back in September, O’Sullivan [27(19)-2(1)] signed a four-fight deal with the outfit – and started off with an upset win in the co-feature of a big HBO card.
A fan-friendly puncher who will most likely be ranked by three of the four major governing next month, there are big fights out there for Spike O’Sullivan.
Below Irish-Boxing.com discuss what could be next for the Mahon 33 year old.
First of all though, a look at who won’t be next.
The potential match-up which has attracted the most talk over the past few days is an all-Irish clash with Golden Boy’s Jason Quigley. However, the Donegal middleweight is only now returning to full fitness after a severe hand injury suffered in his last fight in March. In addition, he has relocated to Sheffield from California and is now training under Dom Ingle. After a year or so out and in his first fight under a new coach, there is no chance that Quigley jumps straight into a scrap with Spike.
O’Sullivan is open about his desire to become a world champion, and said in the immediate aftermath of his win that he wanted the winner of the WBO title fight between Billy Joe Saunders and David Lemieux. Saunders would win this fight, schooling Lemieux over 12, however it would seem unlikely that he will face O’Sullivan next. The pair fought in 2013 with Saunders winning a wide points decision and a rematch would be a hard sell unless the Celtic Warriors man claims a few more big wins.
A Lemieux win probably would have benefitted O’Sullivan, and a phone-booth war would have appealed. The fight remains a guaranteed war, although it seems likely that the Canadian will be moving up in weight – not to mention that he would probably require some time out and a softer comeback win first.
Five potential fights for Spike O’Sullivan
Gabriel Rosado [24(14)-11(4)]
The pair were close to fighting in Boston in September but went separate routes, with O’Sullivan stopping Nick Quigley and Douglas while Rosado claimed his best win in years against Glen Tapia. Now bigger than before, the match-up would look to be a perfect GB on ESPN headliner in Boston for St Patrick’s Weekend. A big name, a win over the Philly warrior could really help Spike move further into the world title picture.
Andy Lee [35(24)-3(2)-1]
The Limerick southpaw is unsure as to whether he will box again. The former WBO champion has said that he may return for the “right” fight. Could this be an all-Irish KO artist clash with O’Sullivan? Possibly as a double header with Katie Taylor when the WBA lightweight champion makes her homecoming at the 3Arena in April?
Martin Murray [36(17)-4(1)-1]
The Matchroom boxer needs a big fight soon and looks somewhat short on options. A three-time world title challenger, it would be another high-profile opponent for O’Sullivan.The pair are familiar having sparred together at Celtic Warriors, and the two styles would look to gel well for an exciting fight – perhaps on a pay-per-view undercard.
Jamie Cox [24(13)-1(1)]
Another Matchroom fighter, Cox is coming down in weight following his loss to George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series. Whether he and his team will want to go straight into a big fight is unclear, however a match-up between two boxers who throw every shot with bad intentions can’t fail to deliver. There is also something of an Irish angle, with Cox being of strong Donegal stock.
Conrad Cummings [12(5)-1(0)-1]
The Coalisland fighter is somewhat earlier on in his development, however WBO European Cummings is keen to be moved quickly. The Tyrone man has his eyes on Saunders, and an all-Irish clash between two WBO-rated fighters would hugely benefit the winner. There is also a simmering rivalry between the pair which would no doubt be peeled back should a fight be made – a fight which could suit the next Carl Frampton card in Belfast, set for April 7th.