FORMER European and British light welterweight champion Paul McCloskey has retired from boxing.
The Derry fight favourite hasn’t fought since his surprise lose to Dave Ryan in December of last year and at 35 has decided to call time on a career that began with a third round TKO win over David Kehoe in the Ulster Hall in 2005.
McCloskey impressed his way to a 22-0 by 2010 claiming the British and EBU European titles along the way. He became a headline act in Belfast and of all places Letterkenny and secured then secured a shot at Amir Khan and his WBA World title.
‘Dudey’ brought over 4000 fans from across the country with him the MEN but the massive bout ended early in controversial cut circumstances.
McCloskey then returned with a victory over Bredis Prescott and there was talk of World titles and names like Marcos Maidana were dropped by then promoter Eddie Hearn.
A Kings Hall reverse to DeMarcus Corley in May of 2012 put paid to a second World title shot and McCloskey’s career faltered.
The popular stylist was subsequently linked to a host of names, but couldn’t secure the big fight he wanted. A win over Manuel Perez was then followed by that shock Ryan defeat and after mounting speculation the Dungiven puncher called time on his career.
“I wish I was superman but I can’t fight forever,” he said. “It’s been unbelievably hard to do but you’ve got to know when to walk away.”