Bareknuckle Champ Jimmy Sweeney open to Carson Jones clash

RINGSIDE 14/11/2018

Jimmy Sweeney says he plans to set bareknuckle boxing records that will never be broken.

The Sligo magician became the sport’s first three-weight world champion when he took the lightweight belt off Sean George with a punch-perfect display in September.

Sweeney defends against MMA star Colin ‘Freakshow’ Fletcher at London’s O2 Indigo Arena on Saturday and provided he wins, he could then chase a world title at a FOURTH weight.

Sweeney said: “I don’t think anyone will win world titles at three weights and winning world titles at four weights would put me out of everyone’s reach and put me in the record books forever.

“To me, it’s all about legacy now. I don’t want to be fighting people who aren’t household names. When I retire, I want to look at my record and see big names on there.

“There’s a bit of talk about (former Kell Brook opponent) Carson Jones and maybe that can be for a fourth world title at 72kgs.

“That would be the sort of fight I’m looking for.”

Sweeney’s more immediate concern is this weekend’s defence against Fletcher, a fighter who will tower over him at 6ft 2ins.

Sweeney aims to prove size doesn’t matter.

“I watched him for about 10 seconds and thought: ‘Yeah, he’s getting knocked out,’” he said.

“I’ve fought tall people all my life and find a way to beat them.

“I think he will look to keep me off with the jab and catch me with the right hand on the way in.

“But he’s got to take the belt off me and at some point he’s going to have to come forward – and that’s when it gets interesting.

“I can see there being a lot of cat-and-mouse stuff – and me winning.”

Sweeney is an expert at outthinking opponents, including George.

He stopped the Welshman in the seventh round in September and said: “It was my first time at lightweight and I didn’t want to burn myself out.

“I out boxed him at a comfortable pace.

“He knew he was down on the cards, so he went for it in the last round, made a mistake and I caught him.

“That would have happened earlier in the fight if he had try to put it on me.”