18 November 2009 – By Cormac Campbell
Unbeaten Mayo light-heavyweight Michael Sweeney has told irish-boxing.com that he hopes to break into title contention in 2010.
Sweeney, 8-0 (5KO), returns to the ring on December 4 in Cork, having stopped Limericks Jamie Power in three rounds in September, a fight he feels was worthy of an Irish title.
“Im ranked on boxrec as the number one Irish light-heavyweight and he is number two,” he said.
“But it now looks like Power will fight John Waldron for the title in the New Year. I wonder will Power fight me again if he wins? I would love to win the Irish title and I think I can beat Waldron as well.”
“I had hoped Id get a fight on the Limerick show, but now Im in action on December 4 on a Paschal Collins show that features Gary OSullivan against Ciaran Healy. I also got a call from Banner Promotions who say I should be on a card in Mexico before Christmas. That will leave me 10-0 and in the mix. I want to take tough fights and progress.
“But it is quite difficult to get tough fights. Ideally Id like to fight Tony Oakey thats my target because then I could push for European. The boys up North are definitely at an advantage because they can fight British and Commonwealth on the way up and there is a big gap between Irish level and European.”
Sweeney turned professional in 2007 after a promising amateur career that included national and multi-nations medals. However, after dropping out of the sport as a middleweight in 2001, he returned as a heavyweight, although he is now a light-heavyweight.
“I spoke to Sean Manion who gave me some great advice. At the start there were lots of fights but then they stopped coming and then I had a collapses lung so that put me out for a while as well,” he explained.
“I spent a bit of time in Belfast with John Breen as well and it was great training. John maintains I am a super-middleweight and I even fought at 12 stone 2lb last year.
“Im working with Sean and strength and conditioning coach Blue Shinner at the moment so training wise things are excellent. I think, like any professional you want to be up there testing yourself.”