Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan came into tonight’s HBO card meant to be a showcase opponent for prospect Antoine Douglas. Instead, he beat Douglas down and stopped him in the seventh round of a gritty battle, handing Douglas his second pro loss.
O’Sullivan (27-2, 19 KO) and Douglas (22-2-1, 16 KO) pretty much traded heavy shots the whole way, not at a blistering pace, not at a Fight of the Year sort of level, but there was really no technique at play here.
That wound up favoring O’Sullivan, who simply proved more capable of taking the punishment as the fight wore on. Douglas started well enough, and the first four rounds were all competitive.
But O’Sullivan had a huge fifth round, smashing Douglas with a series of clean shots that ultimately seemed to shift the momentum entirely in his favor. He caught Douglas with another clean right hand in the seventh round, and Douglas looked instantly out on his feet. Douglas stayed up, but O’Sullivan just unloaded, until Douglas finally crumbled to the canvas.
To Douglas’ great credit, and perhaps something out of pure instinct, he rose to his feet, but the referee made the right call to stop the fight when he read that Douglas wasn’t really responding to his instructions.
O’Sullivan, 33, has said that he hopes to land a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders, should Saunders beat David Lemieux in tonight’s main event. Saunders routed him back in 2013. It may be unlikely, but who knows?
For Douglas, 25, this is about as big a loss as he could have suffered. He’d been overwhelmed by activity against Avtandil Khurtsidze in March 2016, and losing to O’Sullivan seems to seal the deal: he’s just not going to be a world class fighter. He has ability and a tough attitude in the way he fights, but he’s 0-2 trying to step up, and it’s not like we’re talking about the cream of the crop pushing him back down, either.
O’Sullivan landed 130 of 447 (29%) of his total punches, and 102 of 291 (35%) of his power shots. Statistically, Douglas wasn’t far behind, landing 108 of 376 (29%) of his total punches, and 77 of 204 (38%) on power punches.
Here are some highlights, including the stoppage: