14 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Pounds, purses and pay per view earnings were the main talk at the final press conference ahead of Paul McCloskey and Amir Khans WBA light welterweight title fight this Saturday.
But Derry native, McCloskey, ignored all the problems outside the squared circle boldly claiming he is ready to do the business were it counts inside the ring. The TV debate surrounding the mouth watering world title clash spilled over to the packed and simmering press conference in Manchesters Town Hall yesterday, with promoters Eddie Hearn and Asif Vali trading as many verbal blows as Khan and McCloskey will real ones this weekend.
However, McCloskey, who unlike his opponent looked relaxed at the Oscar De La Hoya hosted press meeting, seems undeterred and claims his focus is in doing his job in the ring and claiming the world title.
The Dungiven stylist elected to steer clear of the politics, claims he is in great shape and believes he has found exploitable glitchs in King Khans armour. The undefeated European champion believes he has the tools to do damage to the champion of the world. The stylist also hinted he may ditch his slick hands down approach at certain stages in favour of bullying the English favourite.
I have steered clear of all the politics. It is all about boxing for me, McCloskey explained over a back drop of bickering.
The politics has been in the background for me. I am just focused on doing my job in the ring. I am here to fight. My camp has gone great, preparations have been great. I’ve been studying Amir, every fighter has loads of talents, but there are plenty of weaknesses there and my plan is obviously to exploit them. Amir gets hit fairly easily and leaves himself open when he goes in gung hoe. Look what happened to him the last time he fought an undefeated fighter in the MEN, he got hit and stopped. I dont care how I win be it points or be it stoppage once I win.
I do hope the referee lets me fight inside if it comes to that. Khan doesnt like to be on the inside he just tries hold. Against Maidana the ref just broke them up. I hope this ref lets me go to work in there. Mentally and physically the hard work is done. I can’t wait till Saturday night to bring the title back home.
McCloskey, who was has been tipped to cause an upset by former Irish world champion Steve Collins and given a great chance by Barry McGuigan, is an underdog, but is adamant he isnt fighting to make up the numbers. The third Irish fighter to challenge for a world title this claims he has earned his title tilt and stressed he has come to Manchester to claim the belt.
“Amir is a good boxer and proved in his last fight what a great boxer he is with a lot of heart the way he hung on. It will be the greatest moment of my life. I am ready for the challenge and it has come at the right stage of my career. I have bided my time and been on the undercards of other fighters but I am here now and a look at my record shows who I have beaten. I have done it the traditional route and I believe I can win on Saturday.