Golovkin v Canelo rematch confirmed – Spike O’Sullivan to fight in chief support bout


Tonight, following weeks of arduous negotiation, the Gennady Golovkin v Canelo Alvarez middleweight rematch has been agreed – and Ireland’s Spike O’Sullivan [28(20)-2(1)] will fight in the chief support bout.

The pair fought to a controversial draw last September, with most feeling that WBC-IBF-WBA champion Golovkin had done enough to defeat the Mexican superstar.

A rematch was set for last month but the Cinco De Mayo repeat was shelved following the withdrawal of Alvarez after the Guadalajaran twice tested positive for Clenbuterol, a performance-enhancing substance.

Alvarez [49(32)-1(0)-2] claimed the results were due to his consumption of contaminated Mexican beef and received backing from the governing bodies. In addition, high-tech hair follicle test results seemed to somewhat back up his contaminated beef story.

All of this meant that the 27-year-old received just a six-month ban, backdated to the time of his positive tests in February, and will be able to fight again from August 17th.

Golden Boy, Canelo’s promoter, are set to run a show on Saturday September 15th – the weekend of Mexican Independence Day – with Alvarez to headline. The outfit has been in talks with Golovkin regarding a rematch but these negotiations have been fraught with disagreements over the split of money

During this time, Golovkin [38(34)-0-1] was been stripped of his IBF belt for his refusal to entertain a defence versus mandatory challenger Sergey Dervyanchenko and it at one stage looked like a Canelo fight, too, would not occur.

Thankfully, tonight, terms have been agreed – and Irish-Boxing.com can reveal that O’Sullivan will box on the bill with a view to facing Canelo afterwards.

The Cork 33-year-old has been thrust into the middleweight mix following his upset knockout win over Antoine Douglas in December.

Initially it was planned for the O’Sullivan to fight in an undercard bout on the original GGG-Canelo rematch bill with a view to facing Alvarez in September, regardless of whether he won or lost versus the undefeated Asian. It was said that the bout would take place in a Texas stadium if Canelo dethroned Golovkin and in Las Vegas if he lost.

Following the Mexican’s withdrawal, the Mahon man then became a contender to step in and face Golovkin.

However, with talks stalled and money reduced due to a change of venue and the demotion of the bout from pay-per-view, O’Sullivan stepped away and instead signed an improved deal with Golden Boy which kicked off on May 4th with a knockout win over Berlin Abreu – with Golovkin stopping Vanes Martirosyan the following night at the same venue.

With talks between Golovkin and Canelo progressing slowly, O’Sullivan then re-emerged as a potential September foe for his Golden Boy stablemate before tonight’s announcement.

O’Sullivan, though, remains a big piece of the puzzle and the Murphys Boxing man will fight on the show in Vegas this September, essentially having the original ‘plan’ pushed back a few months.

Manager and trainer Paschal Collins today told Irish-Boxing.com that “Canelo and Golovkin are going to fight and Spike is going to fight in the co-feature of the main event in a big fight and then fight Canelo in December.”

“We were told to get ready for September 15th, we’ve even spoken about one or two opponents – well, not ‘opponents’, proper fights.”

“Spike is away off on a week’s holiday but when he gets back he will be starting camp for his fight on September 15th.”

“We’ll be starting our camp soon and then we’re off to America in August, Boston then Vegas, we’ll be doing five or six weeks of camp in America.”

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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