11 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
It is a case of ignorance is bliss for Paul McCloskey in terms of all the TV drama surrounding the biggest fight of his career against Amir Khan this coming weekend.
Upset with how the under-card deteriorated Sky Sports initially elected against airing the bout pay per view, before finally deciding against showing the WBA light welterweight world title fight all together. Skys actions eventually paved the way for little know Prime Time to broadcast the big bout, but the fallout and ramifications were as such that some suggested the fight might be called off.
Both parties will certainly have taken an enforced pay cut and the reigning champ is rumoured to be upset with how things have panned out. Indeed Khans, whose homecoming has be soured by SKYs lack of involvement in the fight, preparations were interrupted as he to do press conference to announce the change in television station yesterday. However, whilst the Bolton native has most likely been put under some distress by the turmoil, camp McCloskey claim their charges pre fight plans and preparation have remained unaffected.
In fact McCloskey has no other worries other than facing the man billed as the best light welterweight come next Saturday as he is blissfully unaware of any TV trouble. As trainer John Breen explained to www.irish-boxing.com Dudeys focus has not been disturbed.
Paul has no worries. We never told him anything about the rumours. There were talks about the purses over the weekend and a possible drop and we kept that from Paul. His main focus is the fight and we are keen to keep it that way. Believe me he is focused on next week we havent let any of this put him off, said Breen.
The fight is definitely on, Breen explained. We are preparing as normal for the fight and we are going to Manchester on Tuesday. Its business as usual and the fight is on.
Meanwhile King Khan claims he too is undeterred by all the hype because for him the fight was more about keeping a promise to his English subjects than collecting their money.
“I want to give my UK fans a chance to see me,” said the WBA light-welterweight champion in a hastily arranged conference call, organised to announce Primetime TV’s coverage of the bill.
“I could have gone back to America and fought there. I chose to come home and fight in front of my loyal fans who’ve followed me since the Olympics. I want to build my career in America but I did promise the UK fans I’d bring them a big fight. I’m doing this for my fan base. I’m not making as much as I did for my last few fights, but I’m doing it for them.” Khan said he was never in any doubt that the contest would take place. “There was not one day where I thought the fight would be off. I’ve been training hard for the fight. My advisers kept me out of the way. I’ve always been in the limelight from day one and you always get ups and downs. I knew we were going to get to the bottom of it.”