Honesty of effort as O’Sullivan secures first career knockout 

by Jonny Stapleton
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Daniel O’Sullivan’s first career knockout was inspired in part by some brutal ‘Savage’ honesty.

The Dublin light middleweight secured an inside-the-distance win for the first time since turning over on the Once Upon a Time in the West card in Castlebar on St Patrick’s Day.

The 28-year-old dropped Martin Balog with left hooks to the body on three occasions in the first round – the last of which he didn’t recover from – to get the victory.

Speaking after, he admitted the punch that won him the fight was a shot he had been drifting away from until new stablemate Alen ‘The Savage’ Babic had a forthright word in his ear.

The popular Sky Sports fighter had noticed, ‘Daniel San’ had dropped his sparring levels early in camp and had wondered why the midriff ripper he threw well on the pads wasn’t sent the direction of sparring partners.

He raised his concerns in not so polite fashion and it inspired a change that eventually led to a premier stoppage win for the Dubliner.

“Recently Alen Babic pulled me aside in the gym, he was watching my spars and he put it to me bluntly, that I was sparring badly,” O’Sullivan said after his fourth pro win.

“In fairness, I had been and I have been. He said to me ‘You’re better than that’. It’s a compliment in a way. He said he wouldn’t say it to me if he didn’t think I was better than what I’d be showing. He said he’d been watching me on the bag and on the pads and I was throwing the one-two hook to the body, throwing it all day and throwing it hard and strong.

“He told me to keep throwing it, so the last couple of weeks in sparring I’ve been going in and all I’ve been thinking about is that combination. I do throw it very well and it came out tonight and I got the win with it.”

O’Sullivan’s boxing journey is a unique, even backward one! His love for boxing saw him become a Celtic Warrior Gym regular from where he started a journey that saw him go from helping out in the corner to becoming a fighter with a stint coaching in between

Indeed, the last time he was in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, he was carrying the spit bucket, which made Sunday’s win all the more special.

 “The last time I was here in Castlebar I was holding the spit bucket for all the lads, so this a little dream come true for me,” he said before discussing his short term plans.

“I just want to keep busy and keep getting on these kind of shows and build myself. Platform Sports said they will keep coming here and they’ll keep helping me get fights and build me up.”

O’Sullivan wasn’t the only Dubliner to get a win in the West over the weekend. Inner city fighters Thomas Carty and Craig O’Brien also had their hand raised in Mayo, while former title challenger Luke Keeler took another step toward a big fight when he scored sixth round stoppage on McEleney Promotions first ever promotion in Galway the night before. 

Daniel O’Sullivan, left, in action against Ruben Angulo during their super welterweight bout at the National Stadium in Dublin last April.
Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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