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.
“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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