O’Sullivan: This was a fight I just had to win

Cork middleweight Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan admitted that defeat in Los Angeles would have been ‘devastating’ in his quest for a world title.

The Leesider beat Berlin Abreu at the StubHub Centre in LA on Friday, 24 hours before Gennady Golovkin knocked out Vanes Martirosyan at the same venue to equal Bernard Hopkins’ record of 20th successive title defences.

The Kazakh is now likely to go for a record 21st title defence against Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez after retaining his WBA/WBC/IBO/IBF belts.

O’Sullivan, who was at ringside for the Saturday’s fight, is in line to meet the winner if the Golvkin/Canelo rematch goes ahead.

The Leesider recorded the 28th win of his 30-bout career after Abreu was retired on his stool at the end of the third round.

O’Sullivan was down to meet 36-year-old Golovkin at the StubHub on Saturday but withdrew after haggling over purses by the Kazakh’s team.

I was disappointed when he didn’t come out (for the start of the fourth round). I would have liked the opportunity to put him on the canvas for the fans,” said O’Sullivan of his clash with Abreu. “If he had come out it would have been his last round anyway. A loss to him would have been devastating for my prospects of moving on.

The Corkman, who wore a sombrero entering the ring, was a big hit with Mexican fight fans at his first fight of 2018.

“I’m a big fan of the Mexican people. They’re like the Irish, they are warriors. They have a similar history to my country. I consider that I fight like a Mexican, he added.

“The bigger the occasion, the better the fighter I will be. I respect Golovkin as a fighter. I’ll be happy to oblige with whatever Golden Boy gives me, I wouldn’t shy away.”

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