Friday 17 January 2020

Spike O'Sullivan comes up short in Texas as Jaime Mungia records TKO victory

Spike O'Sullivan suffered the fourth loss of his career in Texas. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Spike O'Sullivan suffered the fourth loss of his career in Texas. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

DESPITE an incredibly brave performance, Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan has suffered an 11th round stoppage defeat against Mexico’s Jaime Munguia at the Alamodome in San Antonia, Texas.

It is his fourth career loss while his 23-year old opponent, who was making his debut in the middleweight division, was winning his 35th consecutive pro fight – 28 of which have been inside the distance.

A fraction of a second before O’Sullivan was floored - when Munguia unleashed a powerful combination of vicious body shots - his trainer Paschal Collins threw in the towel.

O’Sullivan was initially annoyed at his trainer’s move but given the amount of punishment he had taken it was the correct decision.

And the referee would almost certainly have stopped the fight anyway. Munguia continued to punch O’Sullivan after he went down which could have led to him being disqualified.

But there were no complaints from the Irishman’s camp. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:17 of the 11th round.

Munguia - who is being touted as the next superstar in the middleweight division – was the better fighter on the night but the 35-year-old Irishman again showed that there were fewer more courageous boxers around.

Clearly more suited to the light middleweight division, O’Sullivan was conceding height and weight advantage to a younger opponent, who relinquished his light middleweight world title in order to fight in the 160-pound division.

It was a gruelling fight from start to finish with O’Sullivan absorbing a lot of punishment and tiring in the championship rounds. His cause wasn't helped by Munguia seemingly deliberate tactic of firing low blows.

Finally, in the sixth round the referee took action by docking Munguia a point. But in the next round, the Mexican dropped O’Sullivan with what initially appeared a body shot. However, O’Sullivan pointed out to the referee that it was a low blow – which the TV replay confirmed. But the referee chose not to take a point from the favourite.

O’Sullivan had acknowledged that he needed to knock out the Munguia to earn a career-best win and he came close to achieving his goal in the third round. In the closing seconds of the stanza he badly hurt Munguia when he caught him with a sweet left hook to the head which had him out on his feet.

A clearly stunned Munguia, who had O’Sullivan on the ropes at the time, survived to make it to his corner. Perhaps unaware that he had hurt him, O’Sullivan opted not to go after him at the start of the fourth round.

According to the fight statistics Munguia landed 292 of his 792 shots, a success rate of 37 percent, while O’Sullivan connected with 122 of his 596 shots for a 20 percent connect rate.

Munguia acknowledged afterwards that O’Sullivan had proved a tough opponent.

"When I had him hurt, that’s when he would hit hard, so I had to let him get tired, then find the finish. I was confused whether to attack or not. I want to fight the best in the division, Golovkin, Canelo or Charlos," he declared.

The reality is that he needs more schooling in the middleweight division before taking on the big hitters and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that his next fight could be against his Golden Boy stablemate Jason Quigley. The Donegal boxer is back in action later this month for his second fight in the space of seven weeks.

Meanwhile, O’Sullivan must decide whether to hang up his gloves or continue to fight. If he opts for the latter then an all-Irish showdown against Australian-based Dennis Hogan – who was unlucky to lose on points to Munguia in a light middleweight World title fight last April – is an obvious fight to make.

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Leinster's weak point, Johann van Graan's future and Doris vs Deegan

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport