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Brave Spike O’Sullivan stopped late by Jaime Munguia

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Spike O’Sullivan has been stopped in the eleventh round of his big fight in Texas tonight.

The Cork middleweight showed huge guts versus major Mexican name Jaime Munguia but was eventually outgunned in the Lone Star State.

The clash at San Antonio’s Alamodome, which was shown via DAZN in America and not at all on this side of the Atlantic, was competitive to begin with before Munguia took over in the second half and eventually finished the brave Celtic Warriors fighter.

It was a return to middleweight for O’Sullivan who dropped to light middle following his stoppage defeat versus David Lemieux in September 2018. 154lbs is certainly a more natural weight for the Leesider who was outsized here again tonight, but the opportunity was one he could not pass up.

For Munguia it was a debut at middleweight having outgrown the 154lbs division and vacated the WBO title. This belt had been defended controversially, with no rematch offered, against another Irishman in Kildare’s Dennis Hogan last April, adding some more spice here.

The hyped Hispanic name was put under pressure early on from O’Sullivan but, with size in his favour, the Erik Morales-trained fighter was able to ground his opponent down down the stretch.

Spike tucked up and tried to establish a jab in the opener with Munguia probing the body – and being warned once for straying low – before rattling the Irishman in the closing exchanges.

Letting his hands go more in the second, O’Sullivan was able to make a dent in the fancied Mexican, who was again warned for going low, when he caught him with a long right.

There was even more damage done by the Cork slugger at the end of the third, landing a pair of rights, one just after the bell, which definitely hurt Munguia who was not in best of shape as he returned to the corner.

After a slugfest of a fourth, Munguia was warned yet again for going low at the start of the fifth. The youngster was landing the greater number of shots, almost double, but the right hands of O’Sullivan continued to get through.

A flurry off the ropes at the end of the fifth won that round for Munguia and the pair traded big punches again at the start of the sixth. A fourth low blow from Munguia, by far the clearest, forced a paused to allow O’Sullivan recover, and a deduction was given to tighten the scorecard – with the visitor then taking his turn to finish well.

As we entered the second half, Munguia made a breakthrough with a volley of shots before sending O’Sullivan down – but it was again, correctly, ruled a low blow. 22-year-old Munguia, though, was well on top, hurting Spike again at the close.

Instructed to go out on his shield and trade. a tired-looking O’Sullivan rolled forward in a heavy eighth.

35-year-old O’Sullivan again backed Munguia up in the ninth but the home favourite was comfortable and had his range, unloading long shots and wobbling the Mahon man.

Ragged, O’Sullivan looked to trade with Munguia in the tenth, landing some and managing to withstand the hailstorm in return.

Following an extended compassionate discussion with his corner, O’Sullivan came out for the ‘championship rounds’ in this non-title bout.

The eleventh, though, would be the Irishman’s last, with Munguia pinning him to the ropes and toppling him right after the towel came in.

O’Sullivan was initially displeased with coach Paschal Collins’s decision but looked to soon accept it as he embraced the rising Latino

The defeat sees O’Sullivan drop to 30(21)-4(3) and, having taken plenty good and bad from boxing, his next move is unsure.

If he is to continue, a return to light middleweight is a must – and an all-Irish dust-up with Dennis Hogan appeals.


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie