Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan [30(21)-3(2)] is under no illusions.
The straight talking straight shooting Irish fighter knows he needs a knockout to beat Jaime Munguia [34(27)-0] in Texas this weekend.
The Cork fighter provides the opposition as the Mexican makes his middleweight debut in the first major fight of international interest in 2020.
The 35-year-old, who was mid a successful transition toward light middleweight prominence before accepting an offer to return to 160lbs to fight 23-year-old being built for stardom, goes into the clash as underdog as it’s being widely predicted the former WBO light middleweight world champion will find a new level destructive form thanks to not having to make a drastic weight cut.
However, ‘Spike’ is adamant he battles more than just a solid and sizable talent and believes he will need to end proceedings early to ensure success.
Kildare native Dennis Hogan proved nigh on schooling the Erik Morrales trained fighter isn’t enough to beat him when the pair meant in April – and although he hasn’t overly referenced that fight in the build up, the Mahon man does claim he can’t let it go to the judges if he is to have any hope of having his hand raised.
“Unquestionably, I need a knockout. He is a Mexican and a super star,” he said when speaking to the respected Seán McGoldrick in the Independent.
“I think if I knock him down in every round but he is able to continue I won’t get the decision.
“There won’t be many there shouting for me, though I expect I will have a few supporters in the sell-out crowd. Brian O’Connor, whose father Dave has sponsored my suits since 2008, lives out there and he is organising a bus for fans,” he adds before suggesting he was surprised to get the fight despite both fighters Golden Boy connections.
“To be honest I wasn’t expecting the fight at all. When I got the call to fight Munguia initially I thought it was for his light middleweight world title,” he said.
“Then I was told he was moving up to middleweight. I did campaign at middleweight for a long time and I believe that this is a fight that I can win.”
Victory for the Mexican, who has been installed as #1 with the WBO since upgrading on the scales, would see him next in line for the winner of world champion Demetrius Andrade’s January 30 defence against former O’Sullivan stable mate Luke Keeler.
Upset the apple cart and the Pascal Collins trained fighter could expect to find himself in the same position, although win lose or draw he may return to light middle.
Either way O’Sullivan, whose world title ambitions seemed to destroyed when he lost to David Lemieux, believes he is destined to win a world strap.
“I’ve always believed it’s my destiny to be world champion. The first gym I trained in Boston was run by the Petronelli brothers, my mother’s boxing idol was Martin Hagler; my father’s was Rocky Marciano and I’m trained by Steve Collins’ brother.”