The gameplan for Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KOs) was a simple one: back Antoine Douglas (22-2-1, 16 KOs) against the ropes, and alternate between blows to the body and head.
It was a successful one, as Spike took home a seventh-round stoppage at 1:03 of the seventh round.
In the second straight loss by an HBO-promoted fighter on the card, Douglas was unable to generate consistent offense as a counterpunched.
Despite at one point being given every round by HBO commentator Harold Lederman, Douglas was available for head strikes throughout the bout, which finally culminated in a late stoppage. For the 25-year-old Virginia native, the loss represents a departure from his status as a heralded prospect.
O’Sullivan, whose last high-profile fight came against Chris Eubank Jr., returns to prominence in short order; stopping a former top prospect on an HBO co-feature.
At 33 years old, Spike showed he clearly has more left in the tank; not only performing the grunt work of pummeling Douglas’ body, but proving capable of finishing a fighter with just one previous stoppage defeat.
“I was sick for 2 weeks with a chest infection, so I was not 100 percent,” said O’Sullivan. “I thought it was a good opportunity, so I decided to fight anyway. I’m happy with my performance, but I could have done better. Douglas is a tough guy with a good chin, and he had never been knocked out like that.”
A marketable fighter who just picked up a career-rejuvenating win, Spike O’Sullivan may be primed for a big 2018.
Header photo by Ed Mulholland/HBO