22 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Paul McCloskey may be able to fight his way to a rematch with Amir Khan after WBA interim light-welterweight champion Marcus Maidana revealed he was interested in defending against the Dungiven star.
McCloskeys promoters Matchroom are battling outside the ring to try and ensure the hard done by star gets another shot at the 147 pound champ. But with Khans team ruling out a return and the WBA not permitted to award the Derryman a rematch, McCloskey Khan II looks unlikely. McCloskey, however could take matters into his own gloves and into the ring and make himself mandatory for the strap he failed to claim in the MEN Arena last Saturday night by defeating the interim champ, Maidana.
Granted Khan may have lost the belt to Timothy Bradley, who he is set to face in July, or moved up to welterweight by then, but a reverse over the tough Argentine would still leave McCloskey poised for another shot at the strap. And Maidana claimed this week that he is open to fighting the former European champion. Indeed Maidana, who also suffered defeat to Khan albeit in less controversial circumstances, suggested he would fight McCloskey next if the renowned stylist was to travel to South America.
Speaking to Irish-boxing.com Maidanas manager Sebastian Contursi said, “Marcos is certainly open to fighting Paul McCloskey. Paul would be a viable opponent, but the terms would have to be right. Marcos would consider fighting anybody, as long as they are viable opponents and he receives the kind of payment he is worthy of.
“If that fight was to be made Marcos would definitely be confident of beating Paul McCloskey. Marcos is a world-class fighter and fears no man including McCloskey. Maidana and McCloskey would be a good fight to have on the undercard of Khan and Bradley, but Marcos next fight will be held in Argentina. Maybe Paul would be interested in traveling here to fight, Contrusi said before claiming Maidana felt the McCloskey stoppage was premature.
“Marcos saw the fight and he commented that the cut was not meaningful enough for the doctor to stop the bout. He said he would be very upset if he was stopped in such a manner.”
Meanwhile, McCloskey’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom is adamant the Dungiven man has proved he able to cut it at world level and will not be returning to the continental scene. Son of Matchroom founder Barry, Eddie Hearn claims the John Breen trained fighter has IBF belt holder Zab Judah and indeed Maidana on his radar.
“Paul’s stature in world boxing has grown dramatically after Saturday night. I think the Judah fight is a possibility for Paul if Khan will not step up to the plate. We are hoping the WBA take some action. They do have a system when they make a fighter a super-champion and that leaves the title vacant and Paul could box for that if the WBA accepts that because of the controversial ending to Saturday night’s fight he deserves another chance. One thing is sure, our plan is that Paul McCloskey’s next fight will be for a world title,” Hearn explained.