August 17 Jonny Stapleton
Tough sparring with WBC, IBF and IBO light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson taught Michael Sweeney a boxing lesson he will never forget- and one he will put to good use as he bids to become European champion in October.
Dawson didn’t school the Mayo man in arts of boxing rather struggled on occasion against the former Banner Pormotions star, finally forcing Sweeney to realise when fit and sharp he has the tools to do damage.
The talented pugilist, who has been maligned for his poor training regime, claims he has finally discovered that hard work and not talent is the main ingredient to success.
The Storm claims blowing away the former world champ in one particular sparring session proved he has been wasteful with his talents at time throughout his career.
Speaking after he won the Mayo derby against John Wladron on the under card of Henry Coyle’s WBF title fight Sweeney said,
“Training made a difference and I was better in the ring for it. When I was in Detroit I was sparring Chad Dawson , a world class fighter, and more than holding my own. One particular day I destroyed him over five rounds. Manny Steward will confirm that. I realised I can mix with these top lads and can compete at the top. I want to prove to people what I can do when I am fit and put my mind to it.
“I put in eight or nine weeks effort into this fight. I proved tonight what I can do when fit. I proved I can make 175 too. People criticised me in the past, and admittedly they were probably right to do so- I didn’t put the training in when I should have.”The new and improved Ballinrobe man will have to maintain his new town passion for hard graft if he is to claim the European title.
Sweeney stressed he is 99% certain he will challenge current champion Eduard Gutknecht on October 17.
The Storm will first have to over come fellow renaissance man Ciaran Healy in Brighton on September 10 first, but is confident he can win in England then knock out his German counterpart.
“I am ready to mix it with the best now. John is another stepping stone in my career. I have a shot of the European light heavy weight title on October. That deal is 99% agreed. Coming off the win over John is great going into that. I am Brighton on the 10 September first and I have to over come the challenge there. Then I will have to travel to Germany for the EBU fight. I know its hard to win over there, we all know what happened to Matthew Macklin, but I am going out there to stop the guy. With my power and with a good training camp I think I can beat him,” Sweeney added before stressing he would give Waldron a rematch.
“John was brave he stayed up in the first round when I caught him with some great shots. John is a warrior. If he wants a rematch I will give him one.”