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Spike O’Sullivan being considered by Team Golovkin as replacement for Canelo

Gennady Golovkin’s rematch with Canelo Alvarez is in real doubt and this could be to the benefit of Ireland’s Spike O’Sullivan.

Earlier this month it emerged that Mexican middleweight superstar Canelo had failed a drugs test, with trace amounts of Clenbuterol appearing in a sample. This was put down to contaminated beef from his homeland.

While the legitimacy of this claim and Golden Boy Promotions fighter Canelo’s innocence was debated, most initially agreed that, like it or lump it, the Las Vegas fight set for the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday May 5th was too big and too financially lucrative for all involved to be cancelled.

However, the past few days have seen doubts continue to build. Former two-weight champion Canelo [49(34)-1(0)-2] was temporarily suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission until a hearing on April 10th while it also emerged that the Guadalajaran had, in fact, failed two tests, with sky-high Clenbuterol levels in one. All the while, pay-per-view broadcaster HBO took a step back from the fight as we await Canelo’s fate.

Enter Cork 33-year-old O’Sullivan [27(19)-2(1)]. It emerged earlier this month that the Mahon man was on course for the opportunity of a lifetime with an essential ‘Canelo Eliminator’ set for Friday May 4th in Vegas.

The plan was, apparently, that should O’Sullivan win this to-be-confirmed fight, he would face 27-year-old Canelo around Mexican Independence Day in September. If Canelo beat Golovkin and took the WBC, IBF, and WBA belts it would be a mega stadium fight in Texas, and if he lost it would be a Las Vegas comeback bout.

The Celtic Warriors man has seen his stock raise Stateside following a sensational back-end to 2017. An exciting slugfest win over Nick Quigley in the headline fight of a Golden Boy on ESPN card in Boston in September secured O’Sullivan a four-fight TV deal with the promotional giant and he subsequently scored a big win over touted U.S. contender Antoine Douglas in Montreal in December.

The recent worsening, depending on your outlook, of the Canelo situation looked to be bad news for O’Sullivan but it is now being reported that he may be in line for a shot at none other than Golovkin [37(33)-0-1] himself.

With O’Sullivan in camp for his May 4th date, Cork boxing journalist Gavan Casey of the42.ie reports that the heavy-punching Leesider is “in the mix” alongside the slick Demetrius Andrade to step in and replace Canelo should his ban be upheld by the NSAC.

Previously, back in 2016, Golovkin’s team had been in touch with O’Sullivan to inform him that he was a potential opponent for the all-conquering Kazakh and to stay fresh.

O’Sullivan has long-stated his desire to face the undefeated champion, even claiming he would travel to Kazakhstan for the fight.

Now it looks to be a third potential outcome for the Murphys Boxing man.


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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