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David Lemieux makes statement against Spike O’Sullivan, could be next for middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux 40-4 (34) made a statement on Saturday night, knocking out top 10 ranked contender Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan 28-3 (20) late in the opening round of their WBA middleweight title eliminator on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin versus Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The bout was scheduled for 12 rounds but Lemieux needed just 2:44 to complete his night’s work. A short left hook on the inside crashed into O’Sullivan’s jaw late in the first frame prompting referee Russell Mora to wave off the fight while the 34-year-old Irishman reeled around the canvas.

The 29-year-old from Montreal, Canada in now in line for a shot at newly crowned WBC, WBA and Ring magazine champion Alvarez, possibly as soon as December.

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“I was very happy to win. I’m a happy middleweight,” said WBA number four Lemieux after the fight. “I felt great, and I’m in superb shape. I always give you guys a great knockout and a great fight. I’m looking forward to doing it again.”

The bad blood between O’Sullivan and Lemieux threatened to boil over at the weigh-in when a face-off for the photographers degenerated into a shoving match.

“Don’t mess with me – when O’Sullivan talked, I kept it in me,” continued Lemieux. “I bring it to the ring, I don’t disrespect my opponents. I don’t trash talk. Canelo and Golovkin are two excellent fighters. I’m looking forward to fighting them both.”

O’Sullivan pointed to Lemieux’s overnight weight gain in the 24-hours between the official weigh-in and the fight as a contributing factor to his loss.

“Unfortunately, this is boxing,” said O’Sullivan, the WBA number three 160-pounder. “I got caught, and it just so happens it was against a 179-pound light heavyweight who caught me. That was a big weight discrepancy at fight time.”

Lemieux briefly held the IBF middleweight title in 2015 when he outpointed Cameroon-born Frenchman Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. He lost the belt in a world title unification bout against Golovkin by TKO8 in his very next fight at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Last December Lemieux dropped a 12-round points decision to WBO 160-pound champion Billy Joe Saunders at Place Bell, Laval, Quebec.

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