17 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Promoter Eddie Hearn is ready to do battle with Golden Boy and the WBA to ensure the Paul McCloskey gets another chance to fight Amir Khan.
Hearn, who was disgusted that McCloskeys world title bout was literally cut short in dubious circumstances, lodged a complaint with the British Boxing Board of Control within minutes of the final bell in the Men Arena last Saturday. The Matchroom boss, whose father Barry came close to trading blows with Khans management directly after the bout, stressed the board had agreed to undergo an investigation with the WBA with a view to securing a rematch.
Hearn believes the officials showed such a degree of ineptitude in stopping the light welterweight title fight that they should consider a change in profession. McCloskeys promoter, who paid homage to an Irish crowd so boisterous it evoked memories of Bernard Dunnes Point Theatre bouts, also expressed his disappointment at the strange end to the world title fight.
Will we get a rematch? Most likely not. Does Paul McCloskey deserve one? Certainly. Will we fight to try ensure he gets another chance? Of course that is what we do for our fighters. We have already spoken with the board and they have confirmed the will ask for a full explanation from the WBA. It was a very strange end to the fight. Normally they take the fighter to the corner and have a look at the cut. I dont understand why they didnt do that. Paul has trained since he was six years old to be a world champ and you dont give him 30 seconds to finish the round or give the corner the opportunity to try and do something is a disgrace, Hearn explained before suggesting the decision would have been different if their was a cut role reversal.
If khan would have suffered a similar cut there is no chance this fight would have been stopped. Paul was confident of winning the fight since it was made. He was confident in the ring and during the ring walk. Ok he was behind on points, but he wasnt being outclassed. We all know Khan is a fast starter and Paul is a strong finisher, the fight was by no means over. I am very disappointed with Amir Khan and Freddie Roach for suggesting on radio straight after the fight that Paul wanted to quit. That certainly isnt the case and I want everyone to know that.
An incensed yet optimistic Hearn did try and take some positives out of was ultimately a disastrous clash claiming if nothing else McCloskey proved his world title credentials.
The Matchroom man also suggested the vocal Irish contingent will make McCloskey more attractive to promoters around the world.
Paul has proved he is in the same class as Amir Khan. He will have earned a lot of respect tonight. The Irish fans were also unbelievable. It is unprecedented in boxing. They came over in their thousands and created an atmosphere that made the hairs on you neck stand up. No other fans would travel like that, you wouldnt get that in an away game in a football match. The fact it wasnt on sky is another shame cause with a bigger TV audience that crowd would have made fighters and certainly promoters sit up and take note. They would be saying Paul is a credible performer and a great ticket seller and other champions would certainly be tempted into fighting him.