When Paul McCloskey fought Amir Khan at the venue Carl Frampton is set to put his IBF super bantamweight title on the line against Scott Quigg, Irish fight fans took over Manchester.
The ‘Dudey’ following may not have filled as many seats as ‘he Jackal Army are expect to, but his support outnumbered that of the Bolton’s World renowned star at the Manchester Arena.
The noise levels reached an all night high come McCloskey walk-in time as the Irish fans did all they could to support their man.
While obviously grateful for the support, the former European champion doesn’t believe it helped him in the ring and, despite claims otherwise, the Dungiven native, whose undercard Frampton fought on in Belfast, the superior fan numbers won’t play an massive part for ‘The Jackal’ once the first bell rings.
“It is great fighting in front of a large crowd, but for me I was always in a trance of concentration and totally focused on what had to be done,” McCloskey told Nicky Fullerton of the Belfast Newsletter.
“It is great when you win and can celebrate with the fans but during the actual fight – you are in the zone.”
“The fans will sing and cheer their hearts out and that is great but basically it is Carl and Quigg in the ring and it is down to the two of them” said McCloskey.
“I always enjoyed the build-up to the fight but once it started you were totally concentrated on the job and winning the fight – no-matter what it took.”
McCloskey, who lost to Khan in controversial circumstances on that night in April of 2011, much to the disgust of his promoter and rival promoter of February 27, Eddie Hearn, believes the World champ won’t need crowd participation to win.
‘Dudey’ believes the Scott Quigg of now poses a tougher test for Frampton than the Quigg of two years ago, but still believes the Cyclone star will have too much for the Matchroom super bantamweight.
“I think Carl has just too much for him and if he is smart on the night he will win the fight.
“But I think it will be tougher now than is would have been two years ago. Two years ago Carl would have taken him apart, but I think it will be closer now – but Frampton still wins.”
“There will be loads of pressure and this is your job after all. There is lots on the line and he will know that.”
“But to be honest no fighter really enjoys it. It is great if you win – but while the fight is going on – the only people who really enjoy the fights are the boys sitting watching it with a beer in their hand. I have to admit I enjoy the big nights of boxing more now because I am sitting watching them.”