BOSTON — When the Irish came to Boston in the late 1840s during the great potato famine, they found it difficult to gain meaningful employment in Beantown. Those new American citizens were told in no uncertain terms that they need not apply. True to their fighting form, many Irish turned to prizefighting to make a living in the United States. It served their troubled people well.
So when Irishman “Spike” O’Sullivan comes back to Boston saying he wants to fight world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, it is with the knowledge that nothing of any value comes without a fight. O’Sullivan has been calling for ‘Triple G’ since the first time I saw him box in Boston; a KO of Melvin Betancourt on a PBC televised show from nearby Agganis Arena.
That was over two years ago.
Golovkin is still the middleweight champion.
And Spike still wants to fight him.
“I’ve never been knocked down and I don’t believe anyone can knock me down. I also hit very hard with the power to knock anyone out; Cotto, Saunders, Eubank, Canelo. But Golovkin is the world champion, so why not? That’s why I’m in this sport, to be the world champion.”
“If GGG wants a drama show, he can fight me.”
Boston based Murphy Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions on ESPN Desportes partnered on September 30 for a rare but welcomed Saturday Night at the Fights at the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street behind Fenway Park where the Red Sox clinched their division just a few hours before the first bell rang.
According to the Murphy Boxing website: “Spike O’Sullivan will look to get another crack at the elite of the 160 pound division if he can get past Nick Quigley.”
You see, the 33-year-old O’Sullivan has stepped up in class before but was beaten back. In 2013, he lost a wide unanimous decision to current WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. Then in 2015, O’Sullivan was stopped at the O2 in London by Chris Eubank Jr. The two losses, and the “busted eardrums” that came with them, did nothing to defeat O’Sullivan’s fighting spirit. In boxing, as in life, it is only quitters who need not apply. “It’s very difficult to fight on with injuries like those that affect your balance and equilibrium,” O’Sullivan told me.
In the Main Event, O’Sullivan, 26-2 (18), stopped Nick Quigley, 15-3 (3), Liverpool, England, in the fourth round of a scheduled ten. Quigley was game in his first appearance outside of the United Kingdom but Spike wore him down with body punches before finishing him off with an accumulation in the fourth that bloodied Quigley’s face and brought an immediate stop from Arthur Mercante Jr at 1:23 of the frame. “He’s a bit too tough for his own good,” said O’Sullivan of his vanquished foe. “The referee protected him and I think he made the right decision.”
In the first bout televised live on ESPN Desportes, Golden Boy’s 23 -year-old Filipino super featherweight Recky “The Terror” Dulay, 10-3 (7), got all he could handle in the opening round from the Joe Goossen trained Darden Zenunaj before succumbing outright in the third.
Zenunaj, 14-3 (11), Sherman Oaks, California, knocked Dulay down twice in the first, once with a stiff left jab (“I hit his chin with my knuckle, it was perfect”) and then again with a liver shot. Dulay came back strong in the second with long slashing punches from the outside but in the next round he was dropped in his own corner where he took a long nine count.
It looked like he didn’t want to get up.
Referee Gene Delbianco stopped it with Dulay on his feet but out of the fight. The Albanian Zenunaj told me after the fight that he “prepared for a war but this is much better.” Trainer Joe Goossen thought so too. “Did I think it would be as one-sided as it was? No. On paper I looked at this one as a dog fight to the end and we trained for a ten round bloodbath. It didn’t turn out that way but I’ll take that every time.”
Airing on the ESPN app, super welterweight Greg “The Villain” Vendetti, 16-2-1 (10), Stoneham, MA., defeated Casey Kramlich, 8-1-1 (4), Portland, Maine by unanimous decision score of 79-73 and 80-72 twice. Coming off an important June win against CES’s Khiary Gray at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI, Vendetti is an improving fighter who comes forward like it’s his job.
Expected to win a few rounds, Kramlich boxed from range behind a jab but found it difficult to keep Vendetti at arm’s length. Beginning to tire in the sixth, Vendetti’s forward motion diminished but Kramlich was unable to capitalize—though he did land a nice left-right uppercut combination.
When Vendetti answered that effort with his hardest punches of the night, Kramlich wobbled back to his corner after an especially hurtful seventh round. Kramlich is known as the “Buzzsaw” but he looked like he’d been put through one; requiring 11 stitches to his right eye.
Also on the ESPN app, super lightweight Sugar Ray Moylette, 7-0 (3), 27, Ireland, knocked out Michael Clark, 44-18-1 (18), Columbus, OH. In August, Clark quit on the stool in Quincy against local standout Derek Silveira. Tonight he ran his losing streak to ten. Moylette was accompanied to the ring by local legends Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund; both of whom were wearing his shirt. Knocked to the canvas twice in the first round, Clark was down and out early in the second.
In the TV “swing” bout, Golden Boy prospect lightweight Everton Lopes, 6-0 (2), outboxed 8-12 (6) Mexican Eduardo Rafael Reyes over the six round distance to win a split (!) decision 59-55, 59-55, and an inexplicable 56-58 for Reyes. Fans booed the fact the verdict wasn’t unanimous. Lopes is a Brazilian boxing Olympian with a few professional cage fights under his belt. What he lacks in power, he makes up for in poise; gliding and sliding behind an educated punch output.
Off TV Results:
Debuting female super welterweight Shayna Foppiano, 1-0 (1), Everett, MA., stopped Lamarya Geary, 0-2, Philadelphia, PA., in the first round with an unanswered barrage at 1:36. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. called a halt with Foppiano pitching and Geary doing all the catching.
Scheduled for eight rounds, southpaw super middleweight Carlos Gongora 10-0 (8), Ecuador, outpointed Henry Beckford, 5-7 (1), New York. Trained by Hector Bermudez, Gongora scored an uncalled knockdown in the first round off a stiff right hand to the hand. From there, the pace slowed to a crawl. Gongora was awarded a unanimous decision 80-72 and 79-73 twice.
In the evening opener, welterweight Mike O’Han Jr., 3-0 (1), Holbrook, MA, stopped Demetrius Thomas, 0-6, Philadelphia, PA, in the second. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. waved an early halt to this mismatch at 2:47 with “Bad Man” O’Han on the attack and Thomas under assault.
Photo Credit: Emily Harney
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