23 September 2009 – By Steve Wellings
In a welcome new trend amongst Irish fighters, two unbeatens put their records on the line on 26th September as Michael Sweeney (7-0-1) and Jamie Power (6-0) do battle over eight rounds. Its no secret that putting two hungry, ambitious lads together will produce a good scrap, just as Anthony Fitzgerald and Rob Long proved earlier this year in Dublin. Like so many domestic tussles this is a natural. If only matchmaking was always so easy.
So we assume credit is due to Brian Peters main man Tomas Rohan and Sweeneys manager Tommy Egan for getting together and making a mouth-watering starter to the world title main course. The only problem is, much to his chagrin, Egan isnt actually involved at all.
“The situation is that he shouldnt be on that card at all because hes contracted to me and Banner Promotions in America, raged the charismatic Egan. “Michael didnt consult me and is currently under a four-fight contract; however he did miss the first three fights for various reasons.
“The first fight he had a medical problem which he didnt tell me about until after the fight [in France earlier this year] was signed and then we had to pull him out. He later withdrew from a show in the United States and then Art Pelullo pulled all international boxers from the Cristobal Cruz undercard in Mexico because of swine flu. That wasnt Michaels fault of course but thats three withdrawals and the bottom line is that he is under contract and has gone off and signed himself onto the Dunne card without any permission or consultation with me and Im his manager.
“I believe his opponent Jamie Power is good and will come to fight but I dont remember meeting the lad and have no contact with him, but he could give Sweeney a good go at it.”
Sweeney is oblivious to such legal distractions and the Mayo traveller is busy preparing under former light-middleweight star Sean Mannion.
“Im back training with Sean Mannion six days a week and get up at 7am for 5-6miles runs. I do my strength and conditioning with a powerful guy and right now Im 81.9kg and the fight is at 81.2 so its looking good.
“That shows how hard Im training and I can spar 10 to 15 rounds no problem. Jamie is a nice guy and a friend but boxing is boxing and were both going out for the win. I have the height and reach advantage and most of all the skill, plus Ill going be a different guy on the night and he will be surprised when he sees I can change my plans. He wont know what to expect from ‘The Storm’. Its a good card to be on and I want to thank Brian Peters and Tomas Rohan for putting it together.”
Limerick crowd pleaser Jamie Power is unperturbed by his opponents issues and is just aiming to do the usual when he gets into the O2 ring let his hands go.
“Im looking forward to this fight and I know Michael and have sparred him before so I know what to expect, explained the stocky powerhouse. “An Irish title is in my sights but not until after this eight-rounder; I never look ahead of my next fight. Its always great to see two Irish fighters get in there with each other and have a go. Hes a great boxer but I can take him into the trenches.”
Power has three knockouts to his name and in his last fight stopped Kirilas Psonko, a feat George Groves could not match; although in fairness that was a debut six round fight for Groves. Waiting in the wings if either man was to pull out (which is a possibility) is John Waldron who recently withdrew himself from an opportunity to meet Power, in Tallaght. Talk of him not fancying the job are instantly dismissed by Waldron, who wants Power again, for an Irish belt, on Phil Sutcliffes National Stadium bill scheduled for late October.
“Im no bottler, I suffered a broken nose in sparring and had to withdraw,” insists the Ballyhaunis man. “People see Ive lost two and won two and think Im no good but I fought Ciaran Healy on my debut and lost by only one point, plus I was unfairly disqualified against Danny Couzens in Galway. He drew with Peter Haymer in his last fight yet I had him down and was winning clearly.”
Egan, meanwhile, is busy plotting his revenge: “We cant say an awful lot at the moment because the Sweeney fight hasnt yet taken place. We will act when the fight is over and believe me there will be problems so I cant pre-empt what will happen but act when the bout has taken place.
“Im working on something else at the moment anyway which is going to be huge and an announcement will come in due course. Im not at liberty to disclose what it is at the moment but I have a big, big story very close to fruition.”