By Keith Idec
Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan upset Antoine Douglas in the Irish middleweight contender’s debut on American premium-cable television.
O’Sullivan boldly predicted he’ll have an even easier time defeating David Lemieux in their 12-round middleweight match on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin undercard Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“He’s there to be hit and I hit hard,” O’Sullivan said on a conference call recently. “I think I’m gonna be able to land on him with a little more frequency than I was on Douglas, because Douglas was a better boxer. He moved around quite a bit, he had good footwork and speed, longer arms and stuff. So it was tougher task to land against Douglas than it will be against Lemieux.”
Lemieux (39-4, 33 KOs) will attempt to re-establish himself as a contender nine months after unbeaten WBO middleweight champ Billy Joe Saunders expertly out-boxed him in their 12-round fight the same night O’Sullivan knocked out Douglas (22-2-1, 16 KOs) in the seventh round December 16 in Laval, Quebec, Canada.
Montreal’s Lemieux, a former IBF middleweight champ, is the more accomplished fighter. O’Sullivan still thinks the 29-year-old slugger’s best days are behind him.
“I believe, obviously, the momentum is with me,” O’Sullivan said. “I’m the fresher fighter. I believe David’s time has come and gone. You know, he’s had his time in the past. He’s had some heavy losses. He’s got a number of hella beatings. So I feel the ball is certainly in my court.”
Lemieux has lost by technical knockout to Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and Marco Antonio Rubio.
The 34-year-old O’Sullivan (28-2, 20 KOs), who also lost a lopsided 12-round decision to Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs), has suffered one TKO defeat. England’s Chris Eubank Jr. (26-2, 20 KOs) stopped O’Sullivan in December 2015, when O’Sullivan’s trainer didn’t let him leave his corner for the eighth round in a scheduled 12-rounder at O2 Arena in London.
“It’s nothing personal against Mr. Lemieux, but I think it’s gonna be a good night for me,” O’Sullivan said. “I’m not really concerned about Lemieux. I’m looking at the bigger picture. I’m looking at Golovkin-Canelo. I’ll be ringside to watch their fight after I beat Lemieux, and you know, I can’t wait to [fight] one of those guys.”
Lemieux-O’Sullivan will be one of three bouts HBO airs as part of its pay-per-view undercard prior to the start of the Alvarez-Golovkin rematch. The telecast is set to start at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and costs $84.99 to view in HD.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.