McCloskey to face Morrison

18 August 2010

European light-welterweight champion Paul McCloskey will make the second defence of his crown against Scotlands Barry Morrison in Letterkenny on October 2.

The duo had been set to square off in the first defence of McCloskeys British crown in March 2009, with Morrisons late withdrawal affording Dean Harrison with a shot at the title.

Speaking to McCloskey said he was looking forward to returning to the north-west.

Ive fought in Letterkenny twice before, in the Clanree and at the Aura, this one is at the Aura again so there should be a fantastic atmosphere, he said.

The support was great there both times. I think this is the first European title fight in Donegal so there is a little bit of history in it as well.

McCloskey topped the bill at the venue in 2008 with a slick points victory over former world champion Cesar Bazan. Since then the unbeaten Dungiven champion, 21-0 (11KO) has become known more for his banging rather than his boxing, but on October 2 the southpaw is hoping to find a mix between the two.

I prefer to be the slick boy with a bit of a punch at the end, he joked.

People say youre better doing it the smart way. But when I turned pro people said I had no power but Ive stopped 11 opponents (including his last four in British and European class). Its about precision and technique, taking the shots when they are there. John (Breen) tells me I am punching hard as well.

By returning to action so quickly after his last contest (a blood and guts war with Guiseppe Lauri) McCloskey appears to have alleviated concerns over the condition of his back, an injury that had kept him out of the ring from November until June.

I think talk of the injury was a wee bit over dramatic, he said. I know there was a lot of talk about it in the press but it is a lot better. I was getting treatment right up until the last fight and Ill probably continue with that in future. Im back in the gym now and will be stepping it up in the next couple of weeks and everything is going well.

That McCloskey has already prepared for battle with Morrison, 18-4 (8KO) means the Irishman is already well aware of the Scots strengths and weaknesses.

I was to fight him before, he said. I had the confidence then and I have the confidence now.

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