18 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
John Breen believes Amir Khan was producing his worst ever professional display and was on course to be stopped by Paul McCloskey in the MEN Arena last Saturday.
The Belfast trainer did admit Khan was winning the fight before it was prematurely stopped, and wasnt entirely happy with the amount of punches his charge was throwing, but believes Dudey was making Bolton native look more ring peasant than King Khan.
The Irish Trainer of the Year for 2009 reckons Khan was tiring and claimed if the fight wasnt cut short the game plan would have come into effect, enabling the Derry native to knock the WBA light welterweight champion of the world out. Breen, who was livid by the manner in which the fight was stopped, believes Khan and his trainer Freddie Roach underestimated the former European champion and were about to pay the price.
Paul McCloskey showed his world class. He was in against a fighter they say is one of the best in the world and he made him look ordinary. He made Khan look second rate at times. Ok Khan was in front, but he underestimated Paul McCloskey and it showed, Breen said after the fight. The gameplan was to come on late and we are not just saying that. Our plan was to make Amir miss and then punish him. Granted Paul hadnt started to do that yet he was throwing single punches, but once Khan started to tire, which he was, Paul would have stepped it up and stopped him.
Freddie Roach was saying he thought Khan would take Paul out in one and Khan predicted four. That was never going to happen. Paul was never hurt he wasnt even breathing heavy. He never looked like he was going to be stopped. What did Khan do tonight? He was throwing six and seven punches and landing one.
Breen admitted he was so sure the fight couldnt be stopped as a result of the cut inflicted by the champs head, that he thought McCloskey had got the decision and was readying himself to buckle the title around his charges waist when the fight was stopped.
The trainer, who saw one of his other students Andy Murray win earlier in the night, also suggested that if Khan had received such a cut the fight would have continued.
I heard the referee telling Amir to watch his head – and next thing the fight stopped so I thought it was stopped in McCloskeys favour. Amir wouldnt have been stopped if he got that same cut. Everyone knows that, he added before discussing Khans reaction in the post fight press conference.
Amir came out here to trying to say I am the great Amir Khan and I done a great job here tonight. He didnt do a good job. He was rubbish here tonight. I never saw him fight as bad, he was worse than when he fought Prescott even though he was out in the first round of that one.