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Cork's Spike O'Sullivan nears career-biggest fight with consensus world middleweight number 3

O’Sullivan has verbally agreed to face Danny Jacobs at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on 28 April.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CORK MIDDLEWEIGHT PUNCHER Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan has verbally agreed to a bout with Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs on 28 April.

Jacobs (33-2, 29KOs) is widely regarded as the third-best middleweight in the world after Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and is looking to seal a fight with the eventual winner of May’s Triple G-Canelo rematch later this year.

The 30-year-old was narrowly defeated by the former at Madison Square Garden last March, ending Golovkin’s run of 23 straight stoppage victories (this writer scored the fight a draw from MSG).

Jacobs returned to action in November with a one-sided if unimpressive unanimous-decision victory over the previously undefeated Luis Arias – his first bout since signing a promotional deal with UK boxing tycoon Eddie Hearn.

33-year-old O’Sullivan (27-2, 19KOs) is coming off a career-best victory over American prospect Antoine Douglas in Montreal, and has enjoyed an unsurprising career renaissance since focusing more on his conditioning.

One fight prior to his upset stoppage of Douglas, the Mahon middleweight rid himself of Liverpudlian Nick Quigley inside four rounds in a Golden Boy main event which was broadcast live on ESPN.

O’Sullivan, ranked #8 by the WBO and #13 by both the WBC and the WBA, last night told Eddie Hearn that he had accepted the UK promoter’s offer to fight Jacobs at Barclays Center – news which was greeted fondly by the Matchroom Boxing chief.

O’Sullivan will be considered a rank underdog versus Jacobs in the latter’s home borough of Brooklyn, but ‘The Miracle Man’ – so-called due to his recovery from testicular cancer and subsequent return to the ring – has been stopped once previously, by Russia’s Dmitry Pirog in 2010.

Like Jacobs, O’Sullivan’s only two career defeats have arrived against world-level opposition in Billy Joe Saunders (2013) and Chris Eubank Jr (2015), though the Cork man contests he has only truly begun to take his sport seriously over the past 12 months as he finally edges closer to the big-time.

Victory over Jacobs would likely earn O’Sullivan a shot at either the winner of Golovkin-Canelo II or foe-turned-friend Billy Joe Saunders, who most expect to successfully defend his WBO strap against fellow Brit Martin Murray a fortnight before O’Sullivan is likely to take to the ring in New York.

As revealed exclusively by The42 last week, Katie Taylor will feature on Jacobs’ undercard on 28 April, with details of a prospective unification bout expected to land some time after Jacobs’ opponent – most likely Taylor’s compatriot O’Sullivan – is officially confirmed.

Cork’s Spike O’Sullivan lays waste to Antoine Douglas in sensational Montreal upset

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