By Jonny Stapleton
John Breen claimed Paul McCloskey was different in both style and class last Saturday night.
Breen often heralds the Derry fighter’s boxing skills but lauded for the first time the former European champion’s guts, bravery and ‘balls’ after the WBA world title eliminator victory.
The Irish trainer of the year for 2009, like McCloskey, wasn’t too pleased with his charges boxing performance claiming he wanted to see a stronger volume of combinations, but was delighted with the determination and fighting spirit ’Dudey’ displayed.
Breen was full of praise and admiration after watching McCloskey battle back from a cagey start and fight ten rounds with a broken nose against a fellow top ten light welterweight.
“What a pair of balls Paul has,” Breen exclaimed. “Paul and I don’t think he fought great but he battled against a lad that is bigger and stronger than Khan and won five of the last six rounds. He had to do it to win the fight. I never seen this side of him before. He showed something no one has seen from him before. He dug deep and he was different class. Everybody that saw that fight has to agree Paul was brilliant. He is not noted as a fighter but he fought like a Trojan tonight. ”
Breen had planned a hit and run strategy, but after two rounds decided it was time to opt for the search and destroy method.
The Belfast gym owner told his fighter to put Prescott on the back foot in a bid to take back the rounds lost.
“We changed the game plan after the second round. We started to push him back. You I told Paul he was behind to keep him going. Prescott didn’t come forward he went missing. He was standing off not us.”