5 February 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
After sharing an abundance of nasty verbal blows in a month long contract row, Amir Khan and Paul McCloskey will finally trade real blows in Manchester on April 16.
The WBA light welterweight champion and the European strap holder have resolved their very public pay dispute and their on-off world title fight is once more.
After calling out the Bolton native for the last five years McCloskey seemed to have missed his big chance, as fight negotiations regularly faltered, but the pair have finally reached an amicable agreement and signed a contract very late on Saturday night.
The undefeated Derry stylist, who becomes Irelands third 2011 world title challenger, is now just 12 rounds away from stealing King Khans world crown and gaining universal boxing infamy. If McCloskey unbuckles the prestigious strap from the waist of boxings latest super star he will also unbolt the door to million pound paydays and can parrot Khans unification and Floyd Mayweather cries.
Speaking to Mirror Sport ‘Dudeys’ coach John Breen confirmed the fight will be officially announced at press conferences in Manchester on Tuesday and in Belfast on Wednesday. The 2009 Irish Trainer of The Year is also confident McCloskeys evasive style will trump the world champion’s speed.
Contracts were signed Saturday night and the fight is made, Breen said. Paul is more than happy with the contract and what he is getting. He was never going to fight for nothing. Paul told me during the week that the fight could be back on. They came to an agreement Friday and signed the deal Saturday.
Paul McClsokey is a quality boxer. On his day he can outbox anyone. I know Khan is fast and is a good fighter, but if Paul doesnt want to get hit he cant be touched. I am confident we can beat Khan. We would not have been looking for this fight for so long if we didnt believe that. When Frank Warren was managing Khan four years ago he told me that they wouldnt fight McCloskey because they believed Paul would win. Once Paul uses his skill and doesnt get into a brawl he can win, Breen added before affording a glance beyond the former Olympian.
Beating Khan would open doors for Paul. I think Paul beats WBC and WBO world champion Devon Alexander in his sleep. That would be a great unification fight after Khan. I presume there is a rematch clause but if Paul beats Amir once he can do it again. But lets focus on the April 16 first. We are back in camp after the press conferences and we have a perfect 10 week lead in line.
Whilst the continental champ is relishing the chance to do physical battle with the worl’ds best, his trainer, Breen is looking forward to engaging in a battle of wits the greatest trainer in the world. The match up pits the Belfast trainer against four time boxing trainer of the year Freddie Roach and Breen is confident he too can come out on top.
I am looking forward to going head to head with Freddie Roach. We work on a game plan that we think will work over the coming weeks. I have in my head what I think we need to do. We are going to see the real Paul McCloskey on April 16.