Ronnie O’Sullivan continues to fly the flag for snooker’s Class of 92, and he has described himself, John Higgins and Mark Williams as “the three Mexicanos!”
O’Sullivan, Higgins and Williams have 13 World Championship titles between them, and remain in the hunt for another Crucible title in 2022.
The Rocket breezed into the semi-finals with a 13-5 demolition of Stephen Maguire, while Higgins and Williams are in quarter-final action.
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O’Sullivan claims the trio were brought up in an era when they were made to fight hard for their positions in the sport, and it sharpened their craft.
While rising stars such as Zhao Xintong, Yan Bingtao and Jackson Page are looking to take on the baton, O’Sullivan says the veterans of the sport are well equipped to continue the fight.
“There are a lot of fantastic young players, but the three of us have been doing it for so long, we are all turning 47 this year,” O’Sullivan said. “Williams and Higgins – they have little subtleties in their game.”
O’Sullivan is a fan of boxing, and he claimed himself, Higgins and Williams are hardened fighters who are not afraid of a scrap.
“It’s a bit like the Mexican boxers – we were brought up in a tough school,” O’Sullivan said. “The British fighters are comfortable here, then you throw them into the Mexican or American market and they are not so good.
“We were brought up playing hard matchplay in lots of tournaments and we were dedicated to our sport. That stood us in good stead.
“The Mexican boxers are hardened people who can grind it out. We are the three Mexicanos!”
O’Sullivan had issues with his tip on Tuesday, which led to a warning from Eurosport expert Jimmy White, but he said remedial work overnight had gone a long way to fixing the problem.
“It's just about getting used to it,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “Normally I have a bit of tip overhanging to use as a guide, but I've had to cut it away because it was breaking apart so I literally can't see any tip now. But it's just a visual thing.
“After a few more frames and a few more practice sessions it should be a little easier."
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