Middleweight Antoine Douglas, having recently signed a co-promotional agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, will have the first fight of the deal against Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan on Dec. 16, Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN on Tuesday.
The scheduled 10-round bout will take place on HBO (10 p.m. ET/PT) at the Place Bell in Laval, Quebec. It will be the co-feature alongside English middleweight world titleholder Billy Joe Saunders taking on former titleholder and mandatory challenger David Lemieux, the hometown draw from Montreal.
"We're very excited to work with Antoine Douglas," Gomez said. "He's a very talented middleweight and he'll get his chance to be on HBO and we'll see how he performs. I've known about Douglas for a long time and liked him and we were able to make a co-promotional deal to work with him and Vito [Mielnicki of GH3 Promotions]."
With HBO so heavily involved in the middleweight division -- as the television home for unified world champion Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, Lemieux, Daniel Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade -- showcasing Douglas fits with its plans.
"The middleweight division is absolutely stacked," Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. "While Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin sit atop the division, these two fights will likely determine their challengers in the near future. Everything is on the line for all these guys."
Douglas, 25, of Burke, Virginia, got a lot of exposure in recent years on Showtime's prospect-oriented series "ShoBox: The New Generation." He was a red-hot prospect when he was knocked down and badly battered in a 10th-round knockout loss to Avtandil Khurtsidze in March 2016. But since then Douglas has rebounded with three wins in a row, albeit against lesser opposition.
"Fighting on such a great middleweight card on HBO will be a great opportunity," Douglas said. "I've seen some fights of Gary's, and I never underestimate my opponent. I know he's got a good record and that he always comes to fight. I've never been to Canada, so I look forward to expanding my fan base there."
Mielnicki, Douglas' longtime promoter, has entered into a three-fight deal to co-promote him with Golden Boy.
"The opportunity for this fight came up and I think it's a perfect fit," Mielnicki said. "Antoine will put himself in position to fight for a title and we would have no problem fighting the winner of the Saunders-Lemieux fight. Antoine has been in camp for the last 3½ weeks getting ready for this fight. The best Antoine Douglas will be in the ring that night."
O'Sullivan (26-2, 18 KOs), 33, of Ireland, has won four fights in a row since he was knocked out by Chris Eubank Jr., now a top super middleweight contender, in the seventh round in December 2012 in London.
O'Sullivan was last in the ring on Sept. 30 when he headlined a "Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN" card in Boston, where he knocked out Nick Quigley in the fourth round of an action-packed fight.
"I'm coming off a tremendous knockout win, and that high has carried into my training for this huge co-main event opportunity," O'Sullivan said. "I'm excited to be making my HBO debut on such a tremendous card, and will not disappoint in giving everyone a show. Antoine Douglas should be prepared to face the very best version of myself in the ring."
The Dec. 16 HBO telecast could be expanded to a tripleheader with junior welterweight Cletus "The Hebrew Hammer" Seldin possibly returning to the network for his second fight in five weeks.
Seldin (21-0, 17 KOs), 31, the New York brawler, made his HBO debut by destroying Roberto Ortiz in three rounds on Nov. 11 on the Daniel Jacobs-Luis Arias undercard. The network is in talks with his promoter, Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, to add him to the card, possibly against Yves Ulysse Jr. (14-1, 9 KOs), 29, of Montreal, who is coming off a 10-round split decision loss to Steve Claggett on Oct. 27.
Golden Boy also announced that junior lightweight Ryan Garcia (12-0, 11 KOs), a 19-year-old from Victorville, California and one of Golden Boy's best prospects, will appear on the non-televised undercard in an eight-round fight against Mexico's Noe Martinez (10-9-2, 6 KOs).