30.11.04 – Former ABA champion Matthew Thirlwall has set his sights on a big 2005 following several recent, unjust, setbacks. The bad times started for the 24-year-old in September when he lost a scandalous points decision to Walsall’s Jason Collins. He vowed bounce back with a win, only for his November comeback opponent Michael Monaghan to withdraw on the day of the fight.
“I couldn’t believe it when Monaghan pulled out,” said Thirlwall. “A sprained ankle and on the day of the fight… what an absolute choker that was.
“It poured sickness on the misery!
“I was so up for that fight. So were the fans; many had reckoned it would be the fight of the night so they lost out as well.
“For me it was the perfect opportunity to bounce back. Monaghan is a respected, tricky, operator.
“A lot of people were tipping him to win. So by beating him – which I would have done – I would have put myself right in to the title picture.”
The Bermondsey boy has vowed to do just that, with or without Monaghan.
“He had his chance and missed it,” added Thirlwall. “I will sit down with my promoter Mick Hennessy to work out whether he still figures in my plans.
“Either way I will be fighting for, and winning, a title next year.
“The path hasn’t been a smooth one for me, but that just means that when I do reach the top it will be all the sweeter.”