As honest as ever, Spike O’Sullivan [31(21)-4(3)] admits he would struggle against Erislandy Lara [28(16)-3(0)-3] of 10 years ago.
However, he warns that time has leveled the playing field and has made it possible for him to upset the Cuban great in Barclays Center in Brooklyn this Saturday on the co-main event of the Gervonta Davis-Rolly Romero pay-per-view card.
The Cork puncher challenges the former light middleweight champion, who pushed Canelo close, for his WBA regular title at 160lbs and believes he meets a fighter on the decline.
“I think it would have been an absolute nightmare ten years ago, to be honest, for me in there with him, or for anybody with him, really,” said O’Sullivan.
“He’s on the decline, I think,” adds O’Sullivan. “But he’s still a great fighter and a top challenge for anybody. He arguably may have won all those fights he lost, and he’s a great fighter, but it’s better to get him now than ten years ago, for sure.”
At 39 Lara isn’t what he once was but considering he is 37, the same could be said of Spike.
Although Sean Sullivan co-founder of Murphy’s Boxing hints Lara’s more stylish approach, which relies on reflexes, suffers the ill effects of time quicker than the what you see is what you get Mahon man method.
He points out Lara has had to adapt his style to one more akin to ‘Spike’s’ which makes him all the more vulnerable to a seasoned brawler.
“Years ago, this is not impossible, but it’s a very daunting task to have to take on Lara,” said Sullivan.
“Obviously, Spike just comes forward and he fights. There’s not much mystery to his game. He’s a tough guy and he’s gonna get in there. And it sure does look like that’s kind of what Lara’s adapted to in the last few years. So, absolutely, if there was a time that he’s gonna beat Lara, it’s now.”
The Paschal Collins-trained fighter also believes the fact Lara has achieved so much will prove an advantage to him. ‘Spike’ feels his massive hunger to become a world champion, something his opponent has done at two weights already means he is willing to dig a lot deeper than his fellow late 30s plus pug.
“It’s going to be about who wants it more on the night. I believe [I want it more]. Hunger is a great sauce and he has achieved everything in his career and I haven’t. I haven’t been world champion and I believe I’m the more determined and the one that wants it more.”