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Sweeney: There were dark times but I hope people respect my career

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Micheal Sweeney claims the fight game will always be a part of him – and he a part of it – despite the fact he officially hung up his gloves earlier this week.

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‘The Storm’ formally ended an eight year career by announcing retirement this week, but will remain in the game as a trainer.

The Mayo man claims injury prompted his retirement at the age of 33, and indicated he suffered with ailments throughout his career. Nevertheless he has not lost his appetite for the fight game, and he told Irish-Boxing.com that he will train his brother – MGM cruiserweight Gary Sweeney – as well as others, stressing he was advised to train by none other than Manny Steward and Peter Fury.

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“Injuries forced me to retire,” said  Sweeney.

“I was never 100% going into fights due to injuries, so it was time to call it a day,” he added before saying he is retiring from fighting but not boxing.

“I’m going into training, my first fighter is my brother Gary, and I’ve had a lot of interests from few fighters, one of which is a big prospect, so I hope that works out.”

“I’m young and I have travelled a lot gyms, seen some good sessions. I’m very convinced I can produce a champion.”

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“I have travelled the world, meeting and sparring the best, and to have Emanuel Steward and Peter Fury tell me I’d make a good trainer – that’s why boxing will always be part of my life.”

Sweeney is definitely well travelled. The Ballinrobe cruiser was used regular by Steward for sparing and was also a regular sparring partner for the likes of Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler, and Chad Dawson.

There are some who suggest the skills he showed in sparring were never on full display in the ring. Indeed Sweeney only fought a total 17 times, losing four and drawing once.

He was tipped to win titles, but lost in two high profile domestic with Ian Tims, last November’s defeat to the Tank proving to be his last bout.

The fighter himself doesn’t deny that he failed achieve the goals he set out for himself when turning over, neither does he shoot down suggestions that we didn’t ever see him at his best, but he does argue that injuries played a massive part in his career.

Regardless, he isn’t too phased as to what people have to say, but does feel he deserves respect.

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“I’ve not much interest if people talk bad about me, I just leave them to God and move on.  I just wanted a bit of respect from people, that costs nothing,” he continued before claiming he had bright and dark times throughout his career.

“Boxing in general has its ups and downs. I had my highs and lows, hit dark spots too, but having a good family and kids pulls you out of those. You realise there is more to life.”

“I pray a lot more now due to what I went through and I thank God I’m still here, saying this is hard, but truth has to be told, my religion is strong, I travel to Medjugorje ever year to pray,” he added before concluding.

“I have too many people to thank to be able to thank name them by name, but thanks to all who helped me out through my career. God bless you all!”

We here at Irish-Boxing.com would like to wish Micheal all the best in his retirement. He has always been good to the site and played his part in proving how valuable the all-Irish fight can be with his two scraps with Ian Tims – and the build up to both fights. 


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years