15 April 2010 – Press Release
A war of words that has erupted over the internet will finally be resolved in the boxing ring in Limerick next month when rivals Michael The Storm Sweeney and Ian Tims clash for the Irish Cruiserweight title on the Yanjing Fight Night at the University Sports Arena.
The May 15 clash is part of an action packed undercard to Andy Lee’s return to Limerick and one of two Irish title fights on the card with exciting local favourite Jamie Power taking on John Waldron for the Irish Light Heavyweight title belt in the second title decider on the card.
The Cruiserweight clash between Mayo’s Sweeney and undefeated Dubliner Tims has been eagerly anticipated for a while now and the clash has been added extra spice after the two men engaged in a war of words on Facebook which shows no sign of letting up with fight night looming ever closer.
Tims however is adamant that there will only be one winner come May 15. I read an interview with Sweeney (on irish-boxing.com) where he said that ‘the Storm’ is going to be making big noise in 2010, said the 30-year-old. The only noise he’ll be making is when he hits the canvas in Limerick. He’s a storm in a teacup if you ask me. He’s on about becoming a two weight Irish Champ and going on to bigger and better things but he won’t need to worry about any of that after I’m finished with him in Limerick.
Tims a three time Irish Senior Champion in the amateur ranks is undefeated in seven since turning professional in 2008. Tims was ringside when Sweeney scored a stoppage win over Jamie Power at The O2 last September but he remains unimpressed by the Ballinrobe native.
I watched him fight Power and he just caught Power with a lucky punch in the first round and even then he let Power back in to the fight and wasn’t able to finish it for another few rounds.
Tims has even questioned if Sweeney will show up for their May 15th date. He’s all talk but in this game you have to deliver. He knows he can’t hurt me so the only way he can save himself from getting a good hiding is to pull out of the fight and that’s what he’ll end up doing anyway. He’ll find some excuse or some phantom injury to pull out. I know him too well and he might have signed the contract but I still don’t expect him to show up.
Sweeney however was quick to reply with his own burst of verbal punches. That’s wishful thinking on Tims part and a stupid thing to say, slammed the 27-year-old. Maybe he’s hoping I’ll pull out and relying on that but he better have a backup plan when I’m standing across the ring from him. I don’t fear any man, I’ve been boxing since I was a little kid and I’ve never backed down from a fight and I’m not going to start now.
Sweeney also revealed that the two men have already shared a ring with the pair having sparred together. We sparred not long after we had both turned professional so we know each other well. Sparring is sparring but let’s just say I was very happy with how it went. He had to stop after a few rounds because he said he hurt his hand.
While Tims’ record remains unblemished Sweeney will be looking to bounce back from the first defeat of his career, an final round stoppage loss to Felipe Romero in Mexico in December.
Obviously it was very disappointing to lose my unbeaten record but I think I’ll be better for the experience. I was taking on a much bigger man in his home country but I dropped him twice and was well ahead on points when he caught me with a silly shot in the last round and the referee stopped it even though there was just over half a minute left. I’ve no excuses, I just need to learn from it and I want to get back to winning ways now and win this Irish title. That’s always been a dream of mine.
Sweeney is predicting an early night in Limerick and a win that will put him in line to meet the winner of the Power Waldron fight and lift a second Irish title in the process.
I’ve said I don’t expect Tims to last beyond 5 rounds and I stand by that. He’s a one way fighter and I have a game plan and as long as I stick to that I know I’ll win that Irish title.
There’s been a lot of negative stuff written about me on the internet, saying that I can’t make Light Heavyweight and people saying I’m not dedicated enough but once I’ve won the Cruiserweight title I’ll prove people wrong by going back down to Light Heavyweight and challenging for the Irish title there.
Power and Waldron should be a good toe to toe battle in Limerick and I’m looking forward to meeting the winner. I’ve already beaten Power and I’ve sparred Waldron so I’ve no problem taking on either of them.
For now though Sweeney says the only fight he’s interested in is next months clash with Tims. I’ll be in great shape for this one, I’ve just spent some time training in Ricky Hatton’s gym in Manchester and I’m already feeling very sharp and the fight is still over a month away.
The remainder of the undercard for the Yanjing Fight Night also promises to be action packed. Undefeated Cavan star Andy Murray will also be in action at the University Sports Arena Limerick fresh from his impressive win over Oisin Fagan in the main event on RT’s last Pro Box Live show. The 27-year-old lightweight has 18 straight wins to his name in the pro ranks and is currently rated number 3 in Europe.
Recently crowned Irish Heavyweight Champ Coleman Barrett will also be in action. The Galway native has won all but one of his 12 pro fights to date with his only defeat coming to Olympic Gold medallist and new European Champ Audley Harrison in last year’s Prizefighter final.
Limerick fight fans will also be excited by the return of Cuban heavyweight phenomenon Mike The Rebel Perez to Shannonside. The Cork based southpaw is unbeaten in 8 pro contests and in his last Limerick appearance the former World Junior amateur Champion needed just 41 seconds to chalk up another KO victory.
Perez’s compatriot Luis Garcia will also be out to impress. Despite having had just 5 professional fights the 22-year-old Super Middleweight is already ranked in the world’s top 50 and has been described by many boxing insiders as a special talent and a future World Champion.
Another intriguing contest on the bill will see Mullingar’s Paddy McDonagh taking a major step up in class as he tackles former Irish Champion and Andy Lee opponent Ciaran Healy in just his third pro fight while the Limerick based Galwegian Alan Donnellon makes his professional debut in a Light Middleweight contest.
Tickets for the Yanjing Fight Night priced 30, 40, 50, 60, 75 and 100 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit ticketmaster.ie) and all usual outlets.