Michael Sweeney says he will retire if he doesn’t beat Ian Tims in their cruiserweight rematch at the 3 Arena in Dublin on November 15, live on Sky Sports.
Sweeney and Tims met for the Irish title in March, 2011, with Tims edging the Mayo man 97-95 to claim the vacant belt.
‘The Storm’ has been gunning for revenge ever since and tensions between the pair grew when they clashed angrily at a recent press conference at the fight night venue, and Sweeney says he has to settle the score with the hometown man otherwise it’s curtains for his career.
“I will retire if I don’t beat him – but I am winning this fight,” said Sweeney. “It’s a winnable fight and I have to win. There’s been tension between us since 2011 and there’s only one way to settle it.
“It’ll be a completely different this time around, I am a completely different fighter now, I was terrible against him and I admit that.”
Sweeney has not boxed since facing Scotsman Stephen Simmons in May, 2013 for the vacant Celtic title in Glasgow, and after hitting the canvas at the end of the first round, he retired before the start of the fourth. The 31-year-old says that preparations for that fight were all wrong but after teaming up with Peter Fury in Manchester, he’s ready to show he’s a different fighter some 16 months after that loss.
“Stephen is a great fighter but I have improved so much since then,” said Sweeney. “There were a lot of issues outside the ring and I didn’t train, now I have been on the weight for a while and everything is great.
“Peter and I have been friends for a few years, they are great guys in the gym and they are very serious in what they do in there. It’s fabulous for sparring in that area too.”
Sweeney’s rematch with Tims is part of a fantastic line-up of action in Dublin, topped by Matthew Macklin’s WBC International middleweight title challenge and world title eliminator clash with Jorge Sebastian Heiland.
Middleweight rivals Anthony Fitzgerald and Spike O’Sullivan lock horns in another bitter all-Irish battle, featherweight contenders Patrick Hyland and John Simpson target British, European and Commonwealth champion Josh Warrington after their clash, there’s a first hometown fight for amateur star John Joe Nevin, Commonwealth super flyweight champion Kal Yafai defends his IBF Inter-Continental title, Manchester lightweight star Anthony Crolla is in action, unbeaten Dubliners Declan Geraghty and Luke Keeler both fight in their seventh fights, Belfast’s unbeaten cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy fights in his fourth pro contest and exciting Stourbridge welterweight Sam Eggington and Manchester light welterweight Kofi Yates are also in action.
Tickets for the blockbuster night are on sale now priced at €30, €50 and €80 from the 3 Arena at www.3arena.ie and on 0818 719 300 (R.O.I) and 0844 8472 455 (UK and NI). VIP tickets priced €150 are exclusively available from Matchroom Boxing at www.matchroomboxing.com and on 01277 359900.
Courtesy of the Matchroom Boxing press office