Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan loses to Lemieux in Las Vegas debut

Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan loses to Lemieux in Las Vegas debut
Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan poses during his weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday. Photo: Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP

Declan Taylor, in Las Vegas

Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan's world title ambitions were crushed inside three minutes of his Las Vegas debut as David Lemieux lived up to his big-hitting reputation.

We had been promised fireworks in this official WBA title eliminator between two fan-friendly middleweights who would much rather bang than box.

But in the end it was just one explosive swing of Lemieux's left hand which sent 34-year-old Spike crashing to the canvas and back to the drawing board.

The pair had engaged in a bitter war of words during the build-up to the fight. O'Sullivan had labelled the former IBF champion a 'greasy piece of shit' and an 'asshole'.

So enraged by Spike's conduct was Lemieux, that he disturbingly revealed a desire to damage the Mahon man 'for life'. Afterwards, he said that the verbal jousting had only served to fire him up.

“Don't piss me off,” the victor said. “The message must now be clear.

“I didn't want all that trash talk from before the fight but I used it in the right way.”

He certainly started like a man charged by hatred, running out of his corner at the opening bell and firing a right hand into Spike's guard.

For the most part the former Irish champion tucked up behind a high guard and absorbed Lemieux's many forward raids.

In fact, it was Spike who landed the first meaningful punch of the fight when a left hook caused Lemieux to stumble momentarily – although the French Canadian went back to work quickly.

Then, in the closing seconds of the opening round, O'Sullivan attempted to a throw a one-two, but no sooner had he stuck out his jab that Lemieux countered with a murderous lead left hook.

Although he was conscious, Spike was clearly in some distress and referee Russell Mora did not even bother to finish his count before waving off the fight. The official time was 2:44 of the first.

“This was my lesson to him,” Lemieux added. “To be humble.

“I'm tired of these guys smash talking just to promote their fights. I want to be able to teach my kids and the kids that follow me to be respectful and to never call out a fighter and keep it professional. I hope he learns to be humble, or be humbled.”

O'Sullivan, in no mood to talk, suggested that it was his opponent's size advantage which cost him. Although the pair both weighed in successfully inside the 11st 6lb limit on Friday, Lemieux rehydrated to 179lbs on the night.

Spike said: “Unfortunately, this is boxing. I got caught, and it just so happens it was a 179 light heavyweight who caught me. That was a big weight discrepancy at fight time.”

It has been suggested that the former butcher from Cork was paid around €300,000 for his night's work, which represents by far the biggest purse of his career.

Now, at 34 and after three defeats in his 31-fight career, O'Sullivan must decide whether or not he wants to rebuild once more.

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