Golovkin vs O'Sullivan: Exactly why fight makes the most senseWritten by Joseph Herron
Upon hearing the unfavorable but seemingly inevitable announcement that Mexican superstar Saul Canelo Alvarez would elect to back out of the highly anticipated return match with undefeated middleweight champion GGG, Team Golovkin made the bold decision to find a "suitable" opponent and continue with plans to compete on the slated May 5 fight date.
Although the proposed match-up has moved to the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the pugilistic spectacle will still be held on Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But against whom?
While most die-hard fight fans would favor names like Daniel Jacobs, Demetrius Andrade and Jermall Charlo to stand opposite Triple G, pundits and observers shouldn't penalize the popular Kazakh puncher for electing to face an ostensibly less dangerous match-up with only 26 days until fight night.
Enter Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan.
Golovkin vs O’Sullivan
The rugged puncher from Cork, Ireland is coming off of an impressive KO performance over once highly touted American prospect Antoine Douglas and is largely viewed as an experienced and durable banger who utilizes a fan friendly and fearless mentality in the ring.
The 33 year old fight veteran possesses an impressive record of 27-2, 19 KOs, with one-sided losses to undefeated WBO Middleweight title holder Billy Jo Saunders and current Super Middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr.
But he’s not Mexican
So why choose the 27th ranked contender from Ireland to face a native of Kazakhstan in Vegas on Cinco de Mayo? Wouldn't it make more sense to chase after a Mexican born, or at least Hispanic pugilist?
Because GGG is widely considered to be somewhat of an "honorary" Mexican who has seemingly adopted the aggressive but intelligent fight style of "El Gran Campeon" Julio Cesar Chavez, the point of not being a native of the proud country is ostensibly moot.
Unlike Floyd Mayweather Jr., the great majority of Mexican fans will choose to support a non-Hispanic fighter on May 5th, and his surname will be Golovkin.
Will Golovkin vs O’Sullivan be competitive?
Taking into careful consideration the face first, orthodox fight style that O'Sullivan seems to favor, coupled with the fact that he carries a solid beard with little or no regard for defense into the ring, the ten year professional should be a perfect stylistic fit for not only the current Middleweight champion, but the mainstream sports fan who wants to see plenty of action for their PPV dollar as well.
Despite his lack of success against the two most accomplished names on his resume, don't expect the proud Irish fighter to get sparked in one or two rounds. Gary is durable and can punch. He not only went the distance with Saunders in 2013, O'Sullivan lasted seven hard rounds with the brutally hard punching Eubank Jr. in 2015.
Triple G vs O’Sullivan should be a very entertaining scrap for at least seven or eight rounds. The 33 year old veteran has stopped four of his last five opponents, and has looked much improved since 2016.
And because he's a hungry, fringe contender who is currently ranked 27th in the world, don't expect O'Sullivan to hold up negotiations with unrealistic financial demands. The hard-nosed Irish puncher is merely happy to receive a rare opportunity to compete on the biggest stage of boxing at this juncture in his respective career.
Golovkin vs O'Sullivan (not yet confirmed)
Saturday, May 5
MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Business of boxing
With less than four weeks to promote the singular event, a relatively "inexpensive" dance partner is imperative. The promotion of Golovkin vs O'Sullivan will be solely dependent on Golovkin's ability to draw.
But a day just after turning 36 years of age, is Gennady Golovkin still the destroyer of the 160 pound weight division? Is there any chance of an upset happening on May 5th?
Obviously, a rematch with Canelo would be the most highly anticipated event on the 2018 boxing calendar, and fights with Demetrius Andrade, Billy Jo Saunders or Daniel Jacobs could potentially sour Team Golovkin's plans of another lucrative scrap with Alvarez after a full year of inactivity.
Another great reason for the selection of Gary O'Sullivan. Although the Irish banger is a tough, experienced fighter, he won't stand in the way of another multi-million dollar payday with Canelo. Even if GGG shows some ring rust next month, he should still be able to get past the always gallant O'Sullivan.
Triple G vs O’Sullivan on PPV?
So, will Triple G vs O’Sullivan be on HBO PPV once again, or will the limping network air the event on the regular subscriber channel?
With the standard set by both Golovkin and Canelo, it would be a huge step back for K2 Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and HBO to stage the event without a PPV price tag. Although the brave Irish underdog doesn't have much of a following in America, the event should put up respectable numbers...even with less than a month of promotion.
The May 5th showing should do at least 300K purchases just on Golovkin's name alone.
So get ready for Triple G versus Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan, fight fans!!