The Kazakh was due to defend his WBC, WBA, and IBF belts versus Mexican superstar Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena in a massive Cinco De Mayo grudge match – only for this bout to be scuppered by the withdrawal of ‘Canelo’ following two positive tests for Clenbuterol.
Alvarez, who remains steadfast in his claim that the positive tests were due to ingesting contaminated meat, withdrew eight days ago. However, even before this, Cork 33-year-old O’Sullivan was being talked of as a potential replacement.
With the Nevada Athletic Commission rejecting Jaime Munguia as a replacement for Canelo and the WBC, WBA, and IBF doing likewise for Vanes Martirosyan, it looked like Mahon’s O’Sullivan was close to a dream title shot.
The power-punching Murphys Boxing fighter was the only named fighter on a five-name shortlist for Team Golovkin, with Martirosyan subsequently scratched yesterday, raising hopes that O’Sullivan would be the man in the opposite corner next month.
There is just over four weeks until the scheduled fight date – which looked to have been switched from the T-Mobile Arena to down the strip at the MGM Grand Garden Arena before talk of the StubHub Centre in LA emerged. The short time-frame for the logistics of the bout, which also looked likely to be demoted from pay-per-view to regular HBO, is said to be the reason for the rumoured cancellation.
However, IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko [12(10)-0] are aggressively pushing for a mandatory defence to be called and for Golovkin [37(33)-0-1] to be stripped of the red belt should he elect to face anyone else. This could be circumnavigated should the Asian fight in a unification contest and Frank Warren, promoter of WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders, has promised a major announcement tomorrow.
This, of course, is nothing but speculation – however, the reports today certainly raise doubts as to whether O’Sullivan [27(19)-2(1)] will get a shot at the unified heavyweight crown.
The Leesider has been in training camp for almost two months now, initially preparing for a headline slot on a Golden Boy on ESPN card in Las Vegas on May 4th. This fight was believed to be a lead-in to a fight with Canelo in September.
Should the proposed fight with Golovkin fail to materialise, it is assumed that this fight date remains an option for the Celtic Warriors puncher.