11 May 2010 – By Leonard Gunning
One of the most highly anticipated Irish title fights of recent years has unexpectedly been called off only a matter of days before it was due to take place.
The domestic dust up between Dublins Ian Tims and Mayo’s Michael Sweeney was set to provide the main support to Andy Lee’s return to Limerick this Saturday but due to an injury which Tims sustained while sparring in training, the University of Limerick Arena bout is off.
Tims outlined that he had injured his arm in training with another source indicating that he has damaged ligaments and wont be able to recover in time. As a result the scheduled bout with Sweeney for the vacant Irish cruiserweight title has been scrapped, leaving Sweeney in the lurch and without an opponent.
The irony is that a war of words had broken out between the two fighters last month after Tims implied that Sweeney would pull out of the fight claiming he had an injury. This twist left a furious Sweeney to lash out today at Tims, “I got a call from Toms (Rohan, Brain Peters Promotions matchmaker) this afternoon and I knew straight away from the tone of his voice that there was something wrong. Then he said Tims was injured and was out of the fight. Toms is looking for a replacement but I dont know, it just all very late now” blasted Sweeney, known as the Storm’.
“The thing is I am in the best shape of my career, I have been training so hard and havent felt tired once in the gym. I’m flying and was so up for it and now I am gutted. To me he has just bottled it, we all have injuries but you carry on, you dont let an opportunity like this go down the drain, it meant a lot to me” explained the Ballinrobe banger.
Sweeney then commented in reference to Tims earlier claims that he would not show for the fight, “to think that he thought I wouldnt turn up for the fight, he is a clown and has just bottled it. Maybe that was in his mind all along but this is for sure he has let his fans down. I wont take him serious now and couldnt trust him after that”.
Tims replied, “Unfortunately, I picked up an injury in sparring Gary Hyde’s Georgian heavyweight (Vladimir Chanturia), Im gutted, I am hoping to have the fight refixed for a later date. As for not wanting to fight “light breeze” Sweeney I’ll put him in his place when I do fight him, Ill wipe the floor with him thats a promise.
This potentially leaves the door open for Belfast’s Darren Corbett to win back the title which he was so aggrieved at being stripped of. Corbett recently competed in the Prizefighter and should still be relatively fighting fit also in contention for late call up is Staffordshire based Jonjo Finnegan.