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Bare-knuckle boxing champion tells important story about himself and alcohol

Bare-knuckle boxing champion Jimmy Sweeney told an interesting life story while speaking during an interview, including why he made a decision about alcohol.


The Irishman who is called the ‘Mayweather’ of bare-knuckle boxing holds the official record of 29 wins and 4 losses in his professional career, and is known to possess a hard-to-break defence system.

Sweeney was speaking to when he told stories about his early days at the sport and about his first defeat.

‘Before me, it was a sport more or less full of brawlers and local hardmen but I’ve brought a bit of skill to it,’ he said.

‘If you look throughout my career I’ve been used as the guy that’s took on all the Americans, MMA fighters and pro boxers.

‘Because of my style and what I’ve brought to the sport, a lot of people have taken notice because I’m not a brawler, I’m a technical fighter.

‘I’ve revolutionised this game and the way it is fought. Now, it is bare-knuckle boxing with an emphasis on the boxing.’

In a rather comic story, however, the champion spoke about a memorable incident between him and alcohol.

‘So, I went down on the Friday and had full intentions of not drinking because I was fighting the next day in Coventry.

‘But as soon as someone asked me if I wanted a drink, I said “Get me a bottle of Bud (Budweiser)” , before I knew it, I was drinking endless bottles of Bud judging the fight. I then ended up at a house party doing all sorts.

‘Then one of my friends said, “Jimmy aren’t you fighting tonight” and I said ” No, it’s not till next week” so then he showed me a poster and I realised I was fighting.

‘So, I rushed home and jumped on a plane over to England by which time my mate back home had just woken up and saw I was fighting. I turned up black-out drunk, won the fight, knocked him out in ten seconds and got back on the beer.’

But Sweeney would change later following an unexpected defeat to Julian Lane. Before this loss, Sweeney held the spotless record of 18-0.

‘The Julian Lane fight changed everything for me and I’m glad it did,’ Sweeney recalled.

‘That was one of the lowest moments of my life, that was November and my dad died in September, so I hit the drink and drugs hard for seven weeks. He dropped me a couple of times which won him the fight but there was no way this guy should have beaten me.

‘It was a wake-up call, and I realised I needed to train properly. And in the rematch, I came in there and absolutely destroyed him with one hand. Eventually, I got off the drink for good as well and I’m better for it.’

He prepares to face James Connelly at Wolverhampton. Concerning the fight, Sweeney said, ‘On paper, James is a very tough opponent. He’s a world champion at the weight below and has been in this game for a long while.

‘In this bare-knuckle game, you don’t know what’s going to happen. It could be an easy night, it could be a hard night.

‘I’ve trained for a hard night but I’m hoping for an easy one.’

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