CORK native Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan suffered the first stoppage defeat of his career on Saturday night as his corner pulled him out after seven bruising rounds with Chris Eubank Jr.
The middleweight pair had been at loggerheads for around three years before finally getting in the ring together at London's O2 Arena, and the talking still didn't stop after the opening bell.
O'Sullivan and Eubank Jr traded verbal insults during their early exchanges of leather, but the Irishman endured the worst of the physical blows, soaking up the greater number of jabs.
In the second round, Eubanks Jr found the punch that would ultimately break O'Sullivan down – a right uppercut which he seemingly couldn't fail to land.
In that same round, O'Sullivan gave his opponent a warning with a hook to the head which appeared to hurt Eubanks Jr, but 'Spike' failed to follow it up with any meaningful punches and the chance of scoring a knockdown escaped.
He did, however, take some confidence from knowing that he had the power to wobble Eubanks Jr, with O'Sullivan appearing to do enough to take the third round after landing two big hooks – a left and a right – to give the favourite something to think about.
That was as good as it got for the Mahon man, though, as Eubanks Jr reverted to using the uppercut which had given him so much success in the second round, and the connections were clearly taking a lot out of O'Sullivan.
By the fifth round, Eubanks Jr had taken complete control of the fight began to mimic his father's showboating style – ducking and lowering his guard – before unleashing lighting quick combinations.
'Spike' looked well capable of withstanding the punishment, but it was all one way traffic by now as Eubank Jr continued to pierce his opponent's defence with the uppercut.
At the end of the seventh round, O'Sullivan's trainer Paschal Collins pulled his man out of the fight, fearing long lasting damage under the assumption that he had suffered a perforated eardrum.
“I won’t say it was one-sided, but in the corner I knew that Spike’s ear was gone and his balance was gone. It’s hard enough to fight someone like Chris in full health,” said Collins.
“Eubank knew this and he knew Spike’s balance was off. I could see all this from the outside and I made the right call.”
O'Sullivan's record moves to 22-2, with his only other career defeat coming at the hands of Billy Joe Saunders.