16 February 2009 – By Jonny Stapleton
The fact that Michael Sweeney was pulled out of his Banner Promotions – Tommy Egan Promotions debut clash with Tony Averlant on Valentine’s Day deprived the Mayo punchers wife a dream night in the country of love, France.
But Mrs Sweeney shouldnt be the only person disappointed the Storm didnt step into the ring last weekend. Sweeneys next bout will be on a St Patrick weekend bill in Illinois hosted by ESPN Friday Fight Night, and the teak tough Mayoman believes his opponent will rue the fact he didnt appear on the Cristobal v Cruz Cyrill Thomas undercard on Saturday night.
Sweeney is now champing at the bit, keen to get a new and exciting leg of his pro punching career underway, and will use his Valentines weekend disappointment to his advantage come St Patricks weekend. The fighter claims he can now train harder and is in the best shape of his career. He is also eager to put on a real show when he steps in the square circle in the States in March.
I am really looking forward to March and fighting,” he said.
“I am disappointed I didnt fight the weekend but I was pulled out for the right reasons and I can have no arguments about that. Valentines night in France though would have been nice. But I have to look at the positives and now I have more time to train and prepare and am more motivated than ever. I really want to get into the ring and put on a show. My opponent will be facing a different Michael Sweeney, unfortunately for him.
Sweeney is benefiting from one on one coaching with Irish boxing legend and fellow Westerner Sean Manion. The Mayo pugilist is also working with the man who has helped to shape impressive man-mountain Paul OConnell and his Munster team-mates; strength and conditioning coach, Blue Shinners.
I have done a lot of training and although I intend to get even fitter I am in the best shape I have ever been. Working with Sean is great. There isnt anything he doesnt know about boxing. Also we have joined teams with Blue Shinners and Jason Kennedy, who are strength and conditioning coaches that have worked with the Munster Rugby team and Bernard Dunne. I have a great training team and I have to thank Tommy Egan for that he has really gave me the best chance to progress.
I have boxed in Boston before and there was great atmosphere. I think this time out it will be much better though to be honest. I have a perfect team behind me with experienced coaches and obviously Banner Promotions and Tommy Egan. I really want to impress on my first fight with them. I want to prove I am a hidden Irish talent and I see this as a step to something bigger. My long term goal is to win world titles and this is the first step I am going to give it 100 percent and put on a show.