By Jonny Stapleton
Paul McCloskey should confirm Curtis Woodhouse as his next opponent in the next 24 hours.
Juan Manuel Marquez is rumoured to be at last minute option, but it seems it will be a
former professional footballer and not a former world champion ‘Dudey’ trades leather with on April 18.
Woodhouse certainly isn’t the Hollywood name the former European champion and world title challenger was hoping to attract to Belfast. Indeed considering he has looses on his record to Jay Morris and Peter McDonagh Woodhouse is the polar opposite to the fighters McCloskey was linked to after defeating Bredis Prescott in a WBA world title eliminator in September.
Team McCloskey are disappointed they didn’t get a renowned international name to help put the 31 year old back in world title frame, but are adamant it wasn’t for the lack of trying.
The Matchroom promoted fighter did have talks with Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Michael Katsidis and Paulie Malignaggi amongst others, but all but Woodhouse rebuffed the Dungiven stylists advances.
Mirror Sport believes the man many felt defeated Manny Pacqiuao in his last fight, Juan Manuel Marquez has contacted the John Breen trained light welterweight re a possible clash. However it is felt the Mexican will price himself out of the bout and McCloskey will fight the former Sheffield United and Birmingham City midfielder instead.
“Curtis Woodhose should be named as Paul’s opponent in the next 24 hours,” manager Francie McNicholl told Mirror Sport.
“Woodhouse and his manager want the fight and we are going to take it. There are just some ironing out issues to the be sorted. A big American name has expressed an interest, but we expect him, like the others to prove too costly. Curtis is not the name we wanted, but we have to keep busy and hopefully Paul will get a second world title shot in the summer. We tried all the big American names and the WBA top ten, but for one reason or another we couldn’t get them to come over to Belfast. It is disappointing, but we are keeping an eye on events surrounding the various world titles and they are still in our sights.”