27 March 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Michael Sweeney claims injury and not any Ian Tims brilliance was the real architect of his Irish Cruiserweight title downfall in City West on March 19 and has called for a rematch.
The Mayo big man, who left the ring sporting only slight bulge and no Irish title around his waist after the fight of the night on the Willie Casey Guillermo Rigondeaux undercard, revealed damage to his right knee prevented him from completing a proper training camp ahead of the biggest fight of career.
The Ballinrobe native told www.irish-boxing.com that he only had three weeks to prepare for a fight Tims had 10 months training for. Sweeney believes he deserves and even pleaded for a rematch.
The 28-year-old pointed out he gave Tims, who also revealed he carried an injury into the bout, a second chance when the Pascal Collins-trained fighter pulled out of The Facebook Fight last year and as a result has asked the Ballyfermot bruiser to return the favour.
The former Banner Promotions fighter believes he should have pulled out, but he didnt want the bout to be cancelled for a third time. As a result he requested a second shot at the strap in the summer.
In all honesty I wasnt in shape. That was plain for everyone to see. I had a knee injury and could only do three weeks training. I didnt want to pull out though and have the fight go down again. I knew I wasnt ready but I battled on. There is no point in crying over spilt milk now. He got the decision. His hand was raised I have to accept that but I think I deserve a rematch. I want to ask Tims for a rematch. I had three weeks to prepare he had ten months. I gave him a second chance when he pulled out five days before the fight last year. I just hope he doesnt price himself out of the fight.
The Mayo fighter also claimed that, as a result of his injury the current champion didnt face Michael Sweeney at his best, and stressed that when the real slimmer Sweeney stands up the result will be different. With a proper training camp, Sweeney is of the opinion he would cruise to cruiser weight title victory.
Ian was a tough opponent and again credit goes to him for winning, but he didnt fight the real Michael Sweeney. If he fights me fit and ready it will be a different story. I already started back on road work and I have been training since the fight. A few things are going to change and I am confident I can become Irish champion.