The Cork man was set to fight the Canelo in September before the Mexican superstar’s drug ban put paid to his May rematch with Golovkin and thus scuppered O’Sullivan’s Autumn plans.
The Celtic Warrior Gym fighter then became front runner to replace Alvarez as ‘GGG’s’ May 5th opponent but eventually withdrew from the race to challenge the IBF, WBC and WBA middleweight title holder only to withdraw after the original offer was reduced significantly.
With the fight being demoted from pay-per-view to regular HBO and moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, the amount of money in the pot diminished – while there was also a feeling that O’Sullivan was not Team Golovkin’s preferred option.
With a reduced offer on the table and time running out, Team Spike instead accepted a revised three-fight Golden Boy deal claiming it was more lucrative and still lead to a GGG or Canelo clash.
The first of that three fight deal plays out at the Stub Hub Centre in LA this coming Friday – the night before Golovkin’s title defence versus Vanes Martirosyan at the same venue – and the former Irish champion takes on Puerto Rican welterweight Berlin Abreu.
A showcase fight to be shown live on ESPN, it should raise O’Sullivan’s profile in the States further before he resumes his chase of the big boys.
Manager and coach Paschal Collins explained to RTE how he believes O’Sullivan “will get the job done [against Abreu].”
“It’s exciting because then we are going to Vegas for the Canelo-Golovkin undercard feature. They are going to announce that for September, I think it’s September 16th or 15th, Mexico Independence Day.”
“And then the winner of Golovkin-Canelo – hopefully this side of Christmas.
There were some fans who felt O’Sullivan wasn’t worthy of a shot at the feared Kazakh’s straps during that ‘will he, won’t he’ saga, pointing to defeat by Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr to strengthen their argument.
However, the talk from Team Spike and the fighter himself is that, since his last reverse, the Mahon man has made lifestyle changes which have brought about massive improvements – evidenced by career-best stoppage wins over Nick Quigley and Antoine Douglas.
Collins, the brother of two-weight world champ Steve, suggests things are finally falling into place for the 33-year-old and is confident that within a number of months ‘Spike’ will be a world champion with a bank balance that sets him up for life.
“I’m a glass half full kind of guy, I don’t think of what could go wrong, and I don’t think anything will go wrong. I think it’s locked down, his next three fights and it will set Spike up for life and that’s the most important thing. ”
“He will become a world champion and be set up for life and then I’m happy – then I’ve done my job,” added the respected coach.
“Spike is a fighter’s fighter and I am so excited we can reach his potential. It’s getting to that stage now where he can show the world what he can really do. I believe he will get the job done. He is only really clicking now and it’s exciting.”
Listen to O’Sullivan and Paschal Collin speak to RTÉ below: